JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - By the end of the year, Mississippians who are tired of driving to Louisiana could be lining up at local stores to buy their chance at millions.
It’s a $200 to $400 million industry being built from the ground up, and in the coming weeks, the Mississippi Lottery Corporation Board will be working around the clock to make it a success.
“I think they are all interested,” said Jassi Singh, owner of the Fast Lane Convenience Store on North State Street in Jackson. “We will do it.”
Singh owns 15 locations in the Capital City.
She is among the hundreds of retailers excited about selling lottery tickets and scratch offs in their stores.
“I think it’s a good thing, because people from Mississippi, they go to other states to buy lottery, and we need it here. This is good,” added Singh.
“Once we have financing, we can start hiring people and contracting with vendors and paying bills,” said Miss. Lottery Corporation Board Vice Chairman Gerard Gibert.
He is the founder and CEO of Venture Technology in Ridgeland, and one of five board members.
That organization has not been given any funding by the state and is in the process of securing money from banks to launch this whole new industry.
The Lottery Corporation Board has hired the law firm Bausch and Bingham to get operations underway.
In the next 45 days, Gibert said a website should be created.
Then in 60 days, retailers can go there using an automated system where retailers can apply to sell the lottery tickets.
“We’ll receive and accept applications from retailers then we’ll approve those retailers,” said Gibert. “We’ll work with our lottery vendors, our gaming vendors to deploy the equipment, the tickets, the system, the machines all that’s involved in operating the games themselves.”
By the third or fourth quarter of this year, scratch-off tickets should be in stores.
They hope to have lottery tickets available by the first quarter of 2020.
The board’s next meeting is March 5 at 9 a.m. at the Baush and Bingham Law Offices on East Capitol Street in Jackson.
The meetings are open to the public and will eventually be streamed on the website.