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Ark. lottery means losses for neighboring states

Little Rock_If Arkansas voters approve a proposed constitutional amendment allowing a state lottery, the most affected could be those in neighboring states.

Retailers in border cities in Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas ring up some of their state's best sales for lotteries. An Arkansas lottery, if approved in November, could cut into those sales into the millions of dollars.

"I'm not going to help their cause to hurt me," Joe Sparks, manager of the Corner Store in Roland, Okla., told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in declining to discuss the prospects of Arkansas lotteries.

Oklahoma's lottery expects to lose $10 million to $12 million in ticket sales a year if Arkansas does its own lottery, said Rollo Redburn, a spokesman for the Oklahoma Lottery Commission. Freddy's One Stop convenience store and gas station near Roland, Okla., is the No. 1 ticket seller among 2,000 Oklahoma retailers selling tickets. Freddy's sales were $1.314 million in a year, including $969,712 in Powerball tickets.

Oklahoma's top six lottery retailers are within only a few miles of Arkansas

The Missouri Lottery estimates it would lose $25 million to $30 million in ticket sales the first year of an Arkansas lottery. The estimate is based on Arkansas offering Powerball, its prize structure being comparable to Missouri's, and gas prices making it less attractive for Arkansans to drive out of state.

Mr. T's convenience store, seven miles from Paragould, is the No. 1 lottery ticket seller among Missouri retailers. It sold $5.6 million in the year that ended June 30.

Like Oklahoma, Missouri's top six lottery ticket retailers also are near Arkansas

Texarkana, Texas, has the No. 1 lottery retailer in Texas, just off Interstate 30. It's the Stateline Citgo, sandwiched between two fast food joints and a small mall. On a recent day, a towering sign in front of the store displayed the gas price and "Lotto Texas jackpot: $15 million."

In 2007, Stateline Citgo sold $3.625 million in lottery tickets, according to the Texas Lottery Commission. The commission declined to provide the newspaper an estimate on how much it could lose.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com

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