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Thread: Utah "Lottery"

  1. #1

    Utah "Lottery"

    This has to do with Utah and the ever increasing "lottery" for permits.

    As many may know, The Wave (Coyote Buttes) has required permits for years and these were done in person and online. They are now all done online (for immediate hiking and then for future hiking). Other popular hikes are now doing the same thing, such as Angles Landing in Zion National Park. The "lottery" is ran by recreation.gov (a private, non-government business).

    Lotteries are illegal in Utah. Here is the statute:

    Article VI, Section 27. [Games of chance not authorized.]
    The Legislature shall not authorize any game of chance, lottery or gift enterprise under any pretense or for any purpose.

    ...

    (14) "Lottery" means any scheme for the disposal or distribution of property by chance among persons who have paid or promised to pay any valuable consideration for the chance of obtaining property, or portion of it, or for any share or any interest in property, upon any agreement, understanding, or expectation that it is to be distributed or disposed of by lot or chance, whether called a lottery, raffle, or gift enterprise, or by whatever name it is known.


    I did not quote all of the statues, feel free to look it up. But lotteries are illegal in Utah. Let me explain The Wave lottery as it avoids the question of "national" land (still in Utah) and Utah land. For The Wave permit you need to be in the Kanab area (on Utah land). You then pay $9.00 to enter into a drawing in order for the possibility to win a permit. If you don't win, you lose that $9.00. This 100%... a lottery!

    So the state of Utah seems to turn their heads and pretend that a lottery is not going on in their state when it is the government that benefits.

    IMHO, someone needs to file suit against the state if they won't enforce their own law.

    On top of this, I think it is also obvious that this is another case of the government not wanting to do their job and rather, farm it out to a 3rd party business (and allowing that business to hide behind a .gov domain) and simply charge the people extra because of this. When you go to a lot of places these days that require permits you will find that recreaction.gov actually collects the fee. For example, I hiked Buckskin Gulch a few months ago. There is (now) and $6.00 permit fee required. However, because BLM has a deal with recreation.gov to collect the money for them, you owe an additional $.50 service fee. No longer does BLM need to collect their own fees, they can simply add on an additional expense to the people to have someone else work for them. What is next... charging another "fee" to farm out the management of the land itself? They could then sit back and collect money and do nothing at all... all for a $6.00 charge.... well $6.00 and how much in "fees"? But is is still only $6.00.

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    #LetsGoBrandon BasinCruiser's Avatar
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    Interesting premise. But, I'll bet the legal defense against it would be something along the lines that a permit to enter a regulated area isn't 'property', just permission or authority to enter a restricted area on a specific date.
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