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As Fla. lottery sales slow, schools stand to lose

Florida LotteryFlorida Lottery: As Fla. lottery sales slow, schools stand to lose
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Penny-pinching Floridians aren't playing the lottery as much as expected, and that's bad news for state legislators trying to minimize school budget cuts next year.

Lackluster ticket sales have prompted state economists to reduce their projection for this year's sales by $47 million. They also scaled back projections for the next two years by $159 million.

"The news just gets better and better, huh?" said a wry Rep. Ray Sansom, R-Destin, the House budget chairman.

The lower predictions complicate an already dismal budget outlook in Tallahassee.

Lawmakers, already grappling with a drop in state tax collections, must finalize a 2008-09 state budget during the next three weeks. And they're already planning to cut school spending for the first time in decades. The new forecast could mean deeper cuts. Lottery dollars account for about 5 percent of the state's education spending.

The state Revenue Estimating Conference, economists who work for the Legislature and governor, placed the blame for slower ticket sales on the economy, writing, "Pressure is being placed on the discretionary spending dollar of consumers."

They also said the recent addition of lottery enhancements isn't bringing in the cash that might be expected because they "were introduced at approximately the same time, in the current unfavorable economic environment."

For example, the lottery's new $30 ticket game, which offers bettors more chances to win bigger prizes, has been offset by reduced sales of existing $20 tickets.

Lottery sales are still expected to grow from this year's $1.28 billion. But sales are now projected to grow just 3 percent to $1.32 billion in 2008-09; and 2 percent to $1.35 billion in 2009-10. Gov. Charlie Crist, among others, had hoped for more money to help cope in the tight fiscal times.

Sansom and other House leaders oppose expansion of gambling and say that the slow growth in the lottery is proof that balancing the budget on bettors' habits is unwise.

"Gambling is a stagnant source of revenue. We've always known that," said House Speaker Marco Rubio, R-West Miami.

The House budget approved on a 72-41 vote Thursday relies on lottery money for a range of programs, from school recognition grants to class size reduction and Bright Futures scholarships.

The Senate budget approved Wednesday calls for plugging most of a $185 million cut in higher education with additional lottery revenues. That, plus a proposed 6 percent tuition hike, would allow universities and community colleges to squeak by with negligible budget cuts of less than 2 percent.

Without all that lottery money, senators would have to cut a little deeper or to search for another source of replacement revenue in the worst budget year in decades.

"It's going to make us readjust some, but I don't think it will be terrible," said Sen. Evelyn Lynn, R-Ormond Beach, chair of the higher education budget committee and likely a lead negotiator in the forthcoming budget conference. "I live and hope that in conference something magical will happen."

The Ledger

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16 comments. Last comment 9 years ago by JAP69.
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Avatar
Kentucky
United States
Member #32652
February 14, 2006
7319 Posts
Offline
Posted: April 14, 2008, 9:53 am - IP Logged

"Sansom and other House leaders oppose expansion of gambling and say that the slow growth in the lottery is proof that balancing the budget on bettors' habits is unwise."

Translation: Since the budget Sansom and other purposed is higher than revenues, they must blame it on slower than expected lottery sales.

The average tax payer knows they can't spend more than they make in a year and their budget isn't depended upon hitting the lottery for "extra" income, but apparently Sansom and the others planned on hitting the lottery.


    United States
    Member #57551
    January 9, 2008
    841 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: April 14, 2008, 11:10 pm - IP Logged

    Well..

    If they expanded their horizons a bit and:

    #1 Offered a Midday Game too. (How much can that costs to host?)

    #2 Offered Online Betting options (and sales to people in other states)

    would be a great start!

      Avatar

      United States
      Member #59579
      March 20, 2008
      205 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: April 15, 2008, 12:04 am - IP Logged

      Well..

      If they expanded their horizons a bit and:

      #1 Offered a Midday Game too. (How much can that costs to host?)

      #2 Offered Online Betting options (and sales to people in other states)

      would be a great start!

      Flamarko,

      Maybe someone heard you because I saw a sign at the store tonight that said Florida will start a Midday drawing on May 19th.  Hooray! 


        United States
        Member #57551
        January 9, 2008
        841 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: April 15, 2008, 8:48 am - IP Logged

        Flamarko,

        Maybe someone heard you because I saw a sign at the store tonight that said Florida will start a Midday drawing on May 19th.  Hooray! 

        THANKS GOD

        Now I don't have to wait til 8 p.m. anymore.

        :)

          Avatar

          United States
          Member #59579
          March 20, 2008
          205 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: April 15, 2008, 9:03 am - IP Logged

          THANKS GOD

          Now I don't have to wait til 8 p.m. anymore.

          :)

          Yep.  The new drawing will be at 1:30 pm.  So you can win twice in one day!

           

          Good luck!


            United States
            Member #57551
            January 9, 2008
            841 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: April 15, 2008, 9:49 am - IP Logged

            Do you happen to have any info (online) about this ?

            The Florida Lottery website has nothing on this in any section of their website.

            And my local stores seem to be clueless..

            Any info would be great.

            THanks

            David


              United States
              Member #57551
              January 9, 2008
              841 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: April 15, 2008, 9:56 am - IP Logged

              Do you happen to have any info (online) about this ?

              The Florida Lottery website has nothing on this in any section of their website.

              And my local stores seem to be clueless..

              Any info would be great.

              THanks

              David

              Never mind.

              I just spoke with a customer service rep at FLA LOTTERY on the phone.

              IT IS TRUE.

              MAY 19th is the DAY for MIDDAY DRAWS!!!!

              :)

              HOOORAY!

                Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                Zeta Reticuli Star System
                United States
                Member #30470
                January 17, 2006
                10353 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: April 15, 2008, 10:27 am - IP Logged

                The Florida schools might lose some funding as a result of this but all too often any state with a lottery that talks about "bucks for education" uses voo doo accounting and those "bucks for education" become part of a shell game.

                The money from the lottery does indeed go into the school system, but an equal or greater sum is taken out of the school system from somewhere else.

                That's not the lottery's fault, but it makes the lottery appear to be the bad guy when there is a shell game going on.

                Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

                Lep

                There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

                  JordanT1021's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
                  North Carolina
                  United States
                  Member #53121
                  June 24, 2007
                  6500 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: April 15, 2008, 11:28 am - IP Logged

                  i played the fl lottery last time i went to orlando. i won nothing. the scratch off's are horrible... i bet that scratch off's are worst in bigger states


                    United States
                    Member #59167
                    March 8, 2008
                    174 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: April 17, 2008, 6:54 pm - IP Logged

                    The Florida schools might lose some funding as a result of this but all too often any state with a lottery that talks about "bucks for education" uses voo doo accounting and those "bucks for education" become part of a shell game.

                    The money from the lottery does indeed go into the school system, but an equal or greater sum is taken out of the school system from somewhere else.

                    That's not the lottery's fault, but it makes the lottery appear to be the bad guy when there is a shell game going on.

                    I guess the crooks in government, called politicians, forgot that the original concept of the lottery was to support education, not replace it.  Having said that, they immediately started not providing funds for education. Remember the tobacco fiasco?  The states were supposed to help smokers stop smoking.  Instead they started spending like $10M lottery winners - stupidly!  Tobacco money is gone, so the state government started raising taxes to support their habit of spending money. Now that people are no longer spell-bound, to shiny lure, called the lottery, the state government doesn't want to slow down their spending habits.  The lottery may not be a tax, but you can bet your booty, that is a tax supplement.  When the sales drop, tax increases will soon follow.  As other have said before me, shine the lure,, with bigger payouts on scratch cards, and in-state daily drawings, and the addicts in the state capital will once again be passified.

                      mylollipop's avatar - Trek STLOGO6.png

                      United States
                      Member #24380
                      October 21, 2005
                      623 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: April 17, 2008, 11:54 pm - IP Logged

                      Many Floridians spend their lottery money next door in Georgia playing MM.  So Florida, wake up!  Bring MM to Florida and keep your Dollar$ at home! for Florida schools.

                        justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                        Wandering Aimlessly
                        United States
                        Member #25360
                        November 5, 2005
                        4461 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: April 18, 2008, 12:12 am - IP Logged

                        "Lottery sales are still expected to grow from this year's $1.28 billion." 

                        IMO I think the state is making a ton of money, considering the current economy.  What do they expect with all the foreclosures, high unemployment and inflation? 

                        Lollipop, maybe we should start a poll.  I disagree that many people in FL drive to GA, but I could be wrong.  From my neck of the woods, it would take me an entire day to get to GA and back plus around $100 in gas. I can see driving from Jacksonville or the Panhandle, but FL is a very long state.  Considering the MM odds, it would make more sense to blow $100 on Lotto tickets instead (and save me the backache.)   The odds for Lotto are less than 1:23M compared with 1:176M and the current $25 million jackpot sounds great to me.

                        Yes Nod

                        I posted in Feb that I didn't think the new Lotto bonus would work.  The Powerplay idea makes more sense.  People realize that by spending an extra buck their odds aren't going to increase. If they have a second chance drawing or increase the lower tier prizes, then maybe more people will check the $2 box.

                          Avatar
                          Kentucky
                          United States
                          Member #32652
                          February 14, 2006
                          7319 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: April 18, 2008, 10:58 am - IP Logged

                          "Lottery sales are still expected to grow from this year's $1.28 billion." 

                          IMO I think the state is making a ton of money, considering the current economy.  What do they expect with all the foreclosures, high unemployment and inflation? 

                          Lollipop, maybe we should start a poll.  I disagree that many people in FL drive to GA, but I could be wrong.  From my neck of the woods, it would take me an entire day to get to GA and back plus around $100 in gas. I can see driving from Jacksonville or the Panhandle, but FL is a very long state.  Considering the MM odds, it would make more sense to blow $100 on Lotto tickets instead (and save me the backache.)   The odds for Lotto are less than 1:23M compared with 1:176M and the current $25 million jackpot sounds great to me.

                          Yes Nod

                          I posted in Feb that I didn't think the new Lotto bonus would work.  The Powerplay idea makes more sense.  People realize that by spending an extra buck their odds aren't going to increase. If they have a second chance drawing or increase the lower tier prizes, then maybe more people will check the $2 box.

                          People living in Key West don't drive to GA and ask the clerk for $2 worth of Mega Millions tickets twice a week?

                          "Considering the MM odds, it would make more sense to blow $100 on Lotto tickets instead (and save me the backache.)

                          I Agree!

                          I live in a Mega Millions state and hardly play it because I only have 1 in 40 chance of winning anything. There probably are people that live close to the GA border that play when the jackpot is huge and maybe a few people in the Orlando or even Miami do too until they figured out they had to make a second trip to cash a $5 ticket after spending $100 or more for gas.

                          "I posted in Feb that I didn't think the new Lotto bonus would work."

                          The bonus bet is for the people who drive drive from Miami to GA twice a week to play Mega Millions.

                            jackpotismine's avatar - kanji for_peace.jpg
                            Kunming
                            China
                            Member #57910
                            January 23, 2008
                            3626 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: April 18, 2008, 11:16 am - IP Logged

                            I guess the crooks in government, called politicians, forgot that the original concept of the lottery was to support education, not replace it.  Having said that, they immediately started not providing funds for education. Remember the tobacco fiasco?  The states were supposed to help smokers stop smoking.  Instead they started spending like $10M lottery winners - stupidly!  Tobacco money is gone, so the state government started raising taxes to support their habit of spending money. Now that people are no longer spell-bound, to shiny lure, called the lottery, the state government doesn't want to slow down their spending habits.  The lottery may not be a tax, but you can bet your booty, that is a tax supplement.  When the sales drop, tax increases will soon follow.  As other have said before me, shine the lure,, with bigger payouts on scratch cards, and in-state daily drawings, and the addicts in the state capital will once again be passified.

                            I Agree!   Those freakin' crooks. You pick the winning numbers and they the government take about half. They're the biggest mafia.

                            Play to win!