COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Lottery plans a new advertising campaign this summer that focuses on how ticket purchases support college scholarships.
The move comes after the General Assembly voted last month to remove a prohibition on mentioning scholarships in ads.
The lottery anticipates a $3 million boost in sales over the next two years with the new ad campaign.
Kentucky Lottery spokesman Chip Polston told The Kentucky Enquirer (http://cin.ci/1iuyuQO) that the ads will run statewide and will show how much good the game has done. He said that until now Kentucky was the only lottery state that wasn't allowed to advertise that proceeds fund scholarships.
When the Kentucky Lottery was created in 1989, some lawmakers feared it might use the scholarships as a way to pressure people to purchase tickets so they banned any mention of government service that lottery proceeds fund.
"The lottery was a very unknown entity at the time," Polston said. "Folks didn't know how the lottery would operate as a business, what level of societal responsibility the lottery would take."
But Democratic state Rep. Arnold Simpson, of Covington, points out that not all proceeds go to fund scholarships.
"I don't know it paints a completely accurate picture," Simpson said. "In my opinion — and I say in my opinion — I don't think it's good public policy."
Lawmakers have used lottery funds since 2009 to help balance the budget.
About $400 million will go toward scholarships over the next two years, but about $81 million will help a variety of other government functions.
Rep. Rick Rand, D-Bedford, chairman of the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee, said lawmakers know that it takes away from the number of scholarships available.
"It would be my preference that we could fund all scholarships," Rand said. "The fact of the matter is the state has a lot of needs across all budget units."