BOISE, Idaho — Idaho lawmakers fearing foreign participation in the Powerball lottery killed legislation on Wednesday that would have allowed the game with huge jackpots to continue in the state after a run of more than 30 years.
The move came after Idaho Lottery officials sought a change in state law because Powerball is expanding to include Australia in 2021 and Britain in 2022. But current Idaho law only allows lotteries in the state played by people in the U.S. and Canada.
Idaho was one of the first states to join Powerball in the 1990s. The lottery has since grown to include 45 states, two U.S. territories and Washington D.C. The Multi-State Lottery Association runs the game.
Idaho’s Legislature is dominated by Republicans, but objections to the change also emerged from Democrats. The killing of the bill by a 10-4 vote by the Legislature’s House State Affairs Committee means that the state’s last Powerball drawing will be in August.
Republican Rep. Heather Scott worried that when Australia joins Powerball, the country’s officials might use revenue generated for government coffers to back causes she opposes.
Scott expressed concern that could happen “in Australia anti-gun causes, which they see as good and we see as not good.”
Democratic Rep. Chris Mathias said the Powerball in Idaho has been good for business and that the state took millions for public education, but had concerns that…