Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited December 5, 2016, 7:43 pm
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

Missouri Lottery faces downturn in sales

Missouri LotteryMissouri Lottery: Missouri Lottery faces downturn in sales

The Missouri Lottery faces a $3.5 million budget cut that could force layoffs of a fourth of the agency's workers plus another General Assembly-ordered retreat from advertising.

This will be the fourth year in a row we're taking a significant budget cut, director Jim Scroggins told Lottery Commission members last week.

We are struggling to understand that and to understand how we are expected to grow business and increase sales.

Despite more than $6 million in advertising cuts the past three years, Scroggins acknowledges that lottery sales and revenues have grown.

But danger signs are beginning to emerge.

At the current pace, Scroggins said sales for the fiscal year that ends June 30 are projected to fall 3 percent from last year's record level of $791.1 million. It would be only the fourth time since 1986 that annual sales have fallen.

We're losing momentum in the public eye, said Scroggins. We're starting to feel the accumulated effects of the budget cuts we've taken.

If we take another $1.1 million from advertising, that'll be an 87 percent cut since mid-2002, he said, when lawmakers began paring the ad budget from $8.2 million that year to $2.1 million this year.

Gambling foes argue that Powerball, scratch-off tickets and other lottery games basically sell themselves at convenience and grocery stores and that the money is better spent elsewhere in the state budget.

You can't rely on retail alone, said Scroggins of point-of-purchase advertising. You need to do some broadcast advertising to promote the games and frequent marketing gimmicks.

This year's budget-cutting axe is wielded by O'Fallon Republican Cynthia Davis, vice chair of the House Administration Committee, which has recommended the latest cuts to the Budget Committee.

In tough budgetary times it is critical that we reprioritize with state taxpayers' money, Davis said in an interview.

How can anybody think the lottery is more worthy than justice or the paving of roads? The money we remove is all going into education, she said. To me that is a wise decision.

Davis does not appear concerned by the latest lottery sales trends. We've spent less on advertising and still sold more tickets in recent years, she said.

Scroggins won't get into a shouting match. But he does preach to anyone who will listen that the General Assembly's anti-advertising chickens are headed home to roost.

The growth curves are going in the wrong direction, he said. Sales grew 15 percent in 2002, 21 percent in 2003 and 12 percent last year.

Scroggins argues that growth those years was due in large part to new products like Club Keno, $10 scratchers, and last year's unusual run of seven $100 million-plus Powerball jackpots that all hyped sales.

Now, said Scroggins, the lottery's lucky streak may have worn thin. With less money for advertising and new product development, and the threat of fewer workers ranging from customer service clerks to warehouse security officers, I don't think there's any more rabbits in the hat, he said.

Since it began in 1986 the lottery has pumped $2.4 billion into Missouri schools and other programs while paying out $4.4 billion in prize money. Earlier this month a Republic, Mo., man became the lottery's 200th millionaire winner.

Kansas City Star

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

8 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by dvdiva.
Page 1 of 1
Avatar

United States
Member #1826
July 11, 2003
2645 Posts
Offline
Posted: March 22, 2005, 11:12 am - IP Logged

Decrease in sales? Hmmm, I wonder why?

(insert signature here)


    United States
    Member #379
    June 5, 2002
    11296 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: March 22, 2005, 11:45 am - IP Logged

    Perhaps because MO won't trade its in-state game for Hot Lotto?

      LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
      Tennessee
      United States
      Member #7853
      October 15, 2004
      11338 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: March 22, 2005, 4:28 pm - IP Logged

      everybody knows why......COMPUTERIZED DRAWINGS

        JAP69's avatar - alas
        South Carolina
        United States
        Member #6
        November 4, 2001
        8790 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: March 23, 2005, 9:59 pm - IP Logged
        Quote: Originally posted by LOTTOMIKE on March 22, 2005


        everybody knows why......COMPUTERIZED DRAWINGS



        WHATT

          MADDOG10's avatar - smoke
          Beautiful Florida
          United States
          Member #5709
          July 18, 2004
          20110 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: March 23, 2005, 10:09 pm - IP Logged
          Quote: Originally posted by JAP69 on March 23, 2005



          Quote: Originally posted by LOTTOMIKE on March 22, 2005


          everybody knows why......COMPUTERIZED DRAWINGS






            ditto,ditto,ditto,ditto,ditto...!!!!!!

                                                       

                                                         "  When Injustice Becomes Law, Resistance Becomes Duty "

            Avatar

            United States
            Member #1826
            July 11, 2003
            2645 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: March 23, 2005, 10:43 pm - IP Logged

            Mike, Jap, MadDog, that's exactly what I was getting at. I mean they televise the drawings on well-placing stations, everyone is able to see that there are no actual balls involved. And since that's the only method of drawing players trust, zip-zip-zip, and awayyyy they go! Everyone in eastern MO is probably buying in Illinois which still has honest drawings, or have just stopped playing. As for people in the rest of the state, I wish that situation upon no one.

            (insert signature here)

              Bryan's avatar - Lottery-002.jpg
              Mid-Missouri
              United States
              Member #644
              August 31, 2002
              4271 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: March 23, 2005, 11:11 pm - IP Logged
              Quote: Originally posted by JimmySand9 on March 23, 2005


              Mike, Jap, MadDog, that's exactly what I was getting at. I mean they televise the drawings on well-placing stations, everyone is able to see that there are no actual balls involved. And since that's the only method of drawing players trust, zip-zip-zip, and awayyyy they go! Everyone in eastern MO is probably buying in Illinois which still has honest drawings, or have just stopped playing. As for people in the rest of the state, I wish that situation upon no one.



                        I know that is a fact. I use to buy at least three Pick 3 tickets every day. Since they have gone to the computerized drawing I may have bought a dozen tickets (in the state) since July of last year. Now I play online. I was hoping others would find alternate methods of playing as well. That way if sales fall dramatically we may get a chance to go back to the real game. Wish us Luck I think we are going to need it.

                      Bryan  :)

                dvdiva's avatar - 8ball

                United States
                Member #2338
                September 17, 2003
                2063 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: March 24, 2005, 12:17 am - IP Logged

                In wa state they have balls supposedly but they don't televise the drawings so who really knows. The only way players will ever trust is a public drawing of balls not computer drawn and not hidden drawings.