Governor vetoes bill prohibiting lottery scratch-off sales

2 June 2014

Governor Mark Dayton has vetoed SF 2642, a bill prohibiting the sale of lottery scratch-off tickets on the internet, at gas pump terminals and at ATMs. The Governor announced his veto on Friday, May 30, in a letter to Senator Sandra Pappas, President of the Minnesota Senate. “The bill passed with a strong bipartisan majority on the last day of the 2014 session after legislators expressed concern that Lottery officials had exceeded their authority by expanding into online ticket sales. Supporters had a strong enough majority to override a veto, but because the action came after the legislature had adjourned, they are unable to do so.”

In his veto letter, Dayton rejected the argument that online lottery ticket sales represented an unauthorized expansion of the Lottery’s powers. “It appears to me that the Executive Director is operating within the scope of his legislatively-established authority,” wrote the Governor.

Rep. Joe Hoppe (R-Chanhassen) believes the governor’s veto will lead to a strong anti-lottery bill next session, according to a May 30 Associated Press story by Amy Forliti. “In effect what the governor is saying is, it’s OK for his lottery director, without consent of the Legislature…to sell tickets anywhere, anyhow in the state of Minnesota. I don’t think that’s right, and I think an overwhelming majority of the Legislature agrees with me. This will not stand,” Hoppe is quoted as saying.

Anti-gambling expansion organizations, charities, gas station operators and convenience store owners were among the most active supporters of SF 2642. The Minnesota Indian Gaming Association (MIGA) did not take an official position on the bill, but the association has opposed further expansion of gambling in Minnesota since 1992.