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Lottery sales fall 11 percent as Lotto, scratch-off demand wanes

Scott Olson
August 14, 2009
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The Hoosier Lottery limped through its latest fiscal year, turning in its poorest sales performance in a half-decade due mostly to declining demand for Hoosier Lotto tickets and scratch-off games, the Lottery said today.

For the year ended June 30, Hoosier Lottery revenue fell 11 percent, to $732 million, from $822 million in fiscal 2008. The amount represented the agency’s weakest sales since fiscal 2003.

“The economy has played a part in it,” Hoosier Lottery spokesman Andrew Reed acknowledged. “Also, what we think played a part was the Hoosier Lotto, where the jackpot rolled over for almost a year in 2008. We had phenomenal sales that year.”

Indeed, revenue for the Hoosier Lotto dropped 40 percent in the latest year, to $54 million, compared with $91 million the year before. It marked just the second time in the Lottery’s history that Lotto sales failed to reach $60 million, according to the Indiana Gaming Insight newsletter.

The Lotto racked up big sales in 2008, as its jackpot climbed over several months to a record $54.5 million. But during fiscal 2009, the jackpot was hit a record 13 times, preventing it from building to the high levels that drive sales.

Sales of other Hoosier Lottery games also slipped. Scratch-off game sales decreased by $52 million, or 10 percent, ending the year at $474 million.

Powerball sales of $114 million were down $2 million compared with the year before.

Pull-tab sales continued to sag as well, off 25 percent to $10 million, as new competition from bars and taverns this year steepened the decline.

Lotteries across the country are experiencing similar disappointing results. In a sampling of 20 state lotteries, including California and Illinois, 14 reported annual declines in revenue for the fiscal year ended in June, according to the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government at the State University of New York.

 

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