Lottery ban bill ready for state Senate vote

Legislation placing new restrictions on the state lottery is heading for another vote in the Minnesota Senate.

Members of the Senate Taxes Committee advanced the measure Monday on a divided voice vote. It was the bill’s last stop before the Senate floor.

The measure bans the lottery from selling games at gas pumps and ATMs, as well as the online sale of instant win tickets.

During the committee hearing, Sen. Julianne Ortman, R-Chanhassen, told Minnesota Lottery Director Ed Van Petten that she thought the ATM sales were particularly “outrageous.”

“I definitely draw the distinction between offering lottery tickets for sale, versus shoving them in your face and targeting certain individuals to buy them,” Ortman said. “It’s a very clear distinction, and when you made that leap I think you absolutely needed to come back and ask for authority through the legislative process and through statute.”

Van Petten defended the expanded lottery options. He said there have been no reports of abuse related to ATMs.

“We are not going to participate in behavior that we believe is harmful, and we’ve seen no evidence of that whatsoever,” Van Petten said.

Van Petten warned that a ban would put the lottery in violation of its contracts with vendors.

The House is also poised to vote on the lottery ban legislation.

Lawmakers overwhelmingly passed the same bill at the end of the 2014 session, but DFL Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed it.

He said earlier this month that he would veto the measure again.