Gov. Mark Dayton said he disagrees with opponents who argue the Minnesota Lottery is exceeding its authority by launching an online scratch-off game.
In an interview on Thursday, the governor said Minnesotans approved a constitutional amendment in 1988 creating the lottery by a 3-to-1 margin.
"The people of Minnesota spoke emphatically that they wanted the lottery and the proceeds go to the general fund as well to the environmental trust fund," Dayton said. "I think when you authorize something like that to operate, you've got to take off the wraps so that they can operate as successfully as possible within the boundaries of ethics and good taste and the like."
The governor added that some lawmakers have taken to chastising the executive branch for enacting policies they simply don't like.
"You've got legislators who want to micromanage the whole executive branch function 365 days, nights of the year," he said.
A group called Citizens Against Gambling Expansion held a press conference yesterday at the Minnesota Capitol to voice opposition to the Minnesota Lottery's decision to begin offering the online scratch game.
“When laws regarding the Minnesota Lottery were originally written and enacted 24 years ago, no one could have imagined that technology would advance to where it is now. The Lottery’s unilateral decision to expand online, without legislative approval, simply because ‘nobody told them not to’ is an affront to the legislative process," said CAGE President Jack Meeks.
Critics also say they worry the online format would make it easier for people to become addicted to gambling and warn it wouldn't be easier for young people to access.