"Every year we do have lottery bills that are filed, but typically it doesn't even make it out of the gaming committee," said Rob Vickery, staff officer at the executive division of the Mississippi Gaming Commission. "I think that casino operators like the current situation because they're the only game in town and the more conservative legislators don't really want to go on the record as voting for gaming."
"You have this kind of unholy alliance that the gaming industry and the anti-gaming people would come together and be against the expansion of gaming, which would include lotteries," he said.
Despite the lack of lotto, Mississippi also offers charitable gaming to its residents, boasting 80 bingo parlors throughout the state, Vickery said.
Jon Griffin, a policy associate at the National Conference of State Legislatures, said that while there's ample funding for casino studies, there hasn't been much empirical research on the economic impact on states that did not participate in lotteries.
"I've never conducted any research as to why these states aren't participating in lotteries," he said. "With so many states having lotteries compared to states that have casino gaming, most people don't think much about state lotteries."
Alaska residents can only try their luck in similar charitable gaming options, including bingo, pull tabs, dog mushers' contests and raffles. But in terms of getting involved with the lottery, there's no draw for locals.
Jeff Prather, gaming group supervisor for Alaska's Department of Revenue, said that while he wasn't sure that the state had made a decision to have a state lottery, a recent economic report indicated that it would not be a profitable activity in the state, "mainly because of the population."