State Sen. Bob Deuell (R-Greenville) believes there is little support among lawmakers for selling off the Texas lottery system.

Deuell sits on the Senate Finance Committee, which earlier this week reviewed Gov. Rick Perry’s proposal to sell the lottery to a private company for at least $14 billion, with the money going to fund cancer research, health insurance and education.

“We’re not making any decisions right now,” Deuell said.

The Associated Press reported this week that documents prepared for Perry’s office by financial firms wanting to manage the deal for the state said a private company could look to make the lottery more profitable by establishing games like video slot machines or by letting people buy tickets at home on their digital televisions.

Deuell said Sen. Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay) is one of the committee members who raised concerns about the introduction of video slot machines and other gambling devices.

Deuell feels there is not a lot of interest in selling the lottery anyway.

“I just don’t think the will is there to sell it,” Deuell said. While he does not support the lottery or any form of state-sanctioned gambling, he cautioned against rushing into any such agreement.

Deuell said some lawmakers are wanting to proceed, amid fears there is a push to expand legalized gambling in Texas.

“They think the lottery would be worth much less at that point,” Deuell said.

He doubts any effort to expand gambling would pass and said it may be better to hold onto the lottery and its annual $1 billion payments to public education.

“Once we sell it, we can’t take it back,” Deuell said.

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