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Arkansas Lottery director appeals to state legislature to reject pending bill

Apr 11, 2013, 7:22 pm

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Arkansas LotteryArkansas Lottery: Arkansas Lottery director appeals to state legislature to reject pending billRating:

Restrictive measure will drastically reduce prizes, cut revenue, director says

Statement from Bishop Woosley, Director, Arkansas Lottery Commission

Friday afternoon, HB 2263 will be presented to the House Rules committee at the Capitol. HB2263 mandates that 25% of total lottery proceeds be used to fund college scholarships. The Arkansas Lottery Commission (ALC) strongly opposes this bill because of the immediate and detrimental effect it will have on lottery ticket sales, revenues paid to our retailers in the form of sales commissions and most important, college scholarship revenue.

To attain the mandate set forth in HB2263, ALC will be forced to significantly lower lottery game prizes paid to Arkansas players which, in turn, will reduce ticket sales. Reduced ticket sales will have the obvious effect of reducing scholarship revenue. When ticket sales shrink, retailer commissions paid to over 1,850 businesses across Arkansas will go down, cutting into their profits.

The Arkansas Lottery now responsibly operates at 13 positions below its allotted positions under statute. The agency has reduced its salaries paid out by more than $600,000 in the past 18 months, placing heavier workloads on staff members. To attain the mandate of HB2263, the agency will face new and deeper cuts in already reduced operational costs, including staffing.

Finally, this mandate will likely result in future lottery vendors demanding higher contract rates, further diminishing the amount of money the lottery will raise for scholarships for Arkansas students.

Arkansans don't have to speculate about what will happen if HB2263 is enacted. They need only look at the low per capita sales of the Louisiana and Oklahoma lotteries, where percentages are in place, and at the dismal sales of the Texas lottery following the enactment of similar legislation in Texas in 1997. That year, the Texas legislature imposed a prize payout limitation, and Texas lottery revenues slumped from $2.3 Billion to $1.4 Billion in two years. Upon convening in 1999, the Texas legislature reversed the legislation, but it took five years for the Texas lottery to return to its previous production levels. In those seven years, the Texas lottery's sales fell a cumulative $3.54 billion dollars, cutting Texas lottery profits for the state by almost $1.1 Billion dollars.

HB2263 would undoubtedly have a negative effect on the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery advertising budget. States with similar mandates have been forced to slash advertising dollars paid to statewide and local newspapers and television and radio stations.

Most important are the Arkansas students and their families who have relied on Lottery Scholarship funds for over three years and will continue to do so. If enacted, HB2263 will reduce by millions of dollars the scholarship funds for those students and families. Those scholarships in many cases make the difference between a student being able to attend college, or not, due to insufficient funds. For the sake of Arkansas students and families, and the thousands of businesses across Arkansas which profit when the Scholarship Lottery profits, the Lottery Commission will actively oppose HB2263.

Lottery Post Staff

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14 comments. Last comment 8 years ago by Seattlejohn.
Page 1 of 1

United States
Member #116263
September 7, 2011
20244 Posts
Offline

The Director is right, lottery players are smart enough to know when playing is just not worth the cost.

    sully16's avatar - sharan
    25
    Dr.President Elect
    Michigan
    United States
    Member #81738
    October 28, 2009
    83803 Posts
    Offline

    The Director is right, lottery players are smart enough to know when playing is just not worth the cost.

    So true

    See Ya!

      Original Bey's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg

      Bahamas
      Member #133456
      September 30, 2012
      6792 Posts
      Offline

      I am holding my breath here. Politicians responded favorably to the constructive feedback in Kentucky, set aside their agendas and made the right decision in the best interest of all.

       

      Can they do it again? Lurking

      "Do everything you can. Then, leave the rest to luck."

        sully16's avatar - sharan
        25
        Dr.President Elect
        Michigan
        United States
        Member #81738
        October 28, 2009
        83803 Posts
        Offline

        I am holding my breath here. Politicians responded favorably to the constructive feedback in Kentucky, set aside their agendas and made the right decision in the best interest of all.

         

        Can they do it again? Lurking

        Yeah, Maine came to their senses with their goofy scratch off name., just every now and then, someone wakes up.

        See Ya!

          Original Bey's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg

          Bahamas
          Member #133456
          September 30, 2012
          6792 Posts
          Offline

          Yeah, Maine came to their senses with their goofy scratch off name., just every now and then, someone wakes up.

          That's right. I forgot about that one. I think we were in the middle of Lent and I was restricting my self to pure thoughts - lol.

           

          Well, a third time can establish a positive trend of sensible decisions.

          "Do everything you can. Then, leave the rest to luck."

            sully16's avatar - sharan
            25
            Dr.President Elect
            Michigan
            United States
            Member #81738
            October 28, 2009
            83803 Posts
            Offline

            That's right. I forgot about that one. I think we were in the middle of Lent and I was restricting my self to pure thoughts - lol.

             

            Well, a third time can establish a positive trend of sensible decisions.

            Let's hope so, Arkansas has been through enough

              rdgrnr's avatar - walt
              100
              Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
              United States
              Member #73902
              April 28, 2009
              14903 Posts
              Offline

              You can always count on government bureaucrats to do the opposite of what needs to be done. They see the same statistics we see but still they want to carry out their own counter-productive, feel-good, it's-the-thought-that-counts, we-meant-well plans that have been proven not to work everywhere they've been tried.

              It reminds me of the way they panic and want to outlaw guns and create gun-free-zones everywhere when some nut goes on a rampage. Statistics show that where guns are plentiful there is dramatically less crime but they don't care. They want to do the feel-good thing and create even MORE gun-free-zones, which are the places nuts prefer to go to kill people because they know nobody can shoot back.

              So Arkansas will do the counter-productive feel-good thing and then when everything they wanted to improve gets worse they'll say: "Sorry, but we meant well" and then they'll hop on a charter for a government employees workshop in Vegas.


                                                           
                                   
                                                       

               

               

               

               

                                                                                                                 

              "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                          --Edmund Burke

               

               

                JonnyBgood07's avatar - Patriots logo1.jpg
                50
                Connecticut
                United States
                Member #61621
                May 29, 2008
                20581 Posts
                Offline

                Friday afternoon, HB 2263 will be presented to the House Rules committee at the Capitol. HB2263 mandates that 25% of total lottery proceeds be used to fund college scholarships.

                 

                25 percent?????should be 75 percent or better.They have no problem using the "schools" as a fulcrum to get the  lottery through to begin with.

                "No matter how bad things may get, I'd like to thank my middle finger

                for always sticking up for me.."

                 


                  dallascowboyfan's avatar - chi
                  Oklahoma
                  United States
                  Member #82389
                  November 12, 2009
                  6371 Posts
                  Offline

                  The Director is right, lottery players are smart enough to know when playing is just not worth the cost.

                  Yep Thumbs Up    Arkansas you can always come back to Oklahoma lolWink

                  I Love Pink & Green 1908

                    Avatar
                    Kentucky
                    United States
                    Member #32651
                    February 14, 2006
                    9123 Posts
                    Offline

                    I am holding my breath here. Politicians responded favorably to the constructive feedback in Kentucky, set aside their agendas and made the right decision in the best interest of all.

                     

                    Can they do it again? Lurking

                    Believe it or not a Kentucky State Representative projected that after adding a 6% lottery ticket sales tax, the lottery could still increase their ticket sales by $90 million by just adding new games. It was rumored that several of the other committee members were heard saying "I'll have whatever he is drinking".

                    State lotteries are cash cows and how state legislators with no gaming knowledge believe they can cut the prizes and still increase profits is beyond me. A 30% profit margin after all expenses is huge (Massachusetts is at 17%), but these elected officials believe the Arkansas lottery can maintain a 25% profit margin without effecting ticket sales. Amazing.

                      Original Bey's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg

                      Bahamas
                      Member #133456
                      September 30, 2012
                      6792 Posts
                      Offline

                      Believe it or not a Kentucky State Representative projected that after adding a 6% lottery ticket sales tax, the lottery could still increase their ticket sales by $90 million by just adding new games. It was rumored that several of the other committee members were heard saying "I'll have whatever he is drinking".

                      State lotteries are cash cows and how state legislators with no gaming knowledge believe they can cut the prizes and still increase profits is beyond me. A 30% profit margin after all expenses is huge (Massachusetts is at 17%), but these elected officials believe the Arkansas lottery can maintain a 25% profit margin without effecting ticket sales. Amazing.

                      Don't mess with the Dollar. Don't mess with the Dream.

                      "Do everything you can. Then, leave the rest to luck."

                        dr65's avatar - black panther.jpg
                        50
                        Pennsylvania
                        United States
                        Member #74094
                        May 2, 2009
                        24135 Posts
                        Offline

                        You can always count on government bureaucrats to do the opposite of what needs to be done. They see the same statistics we see but still they want to carry out their own counter-productive, feel-good, it's-the-thought-that-counts, we-meant-well plans that have been proven not to work everywhere they've been tried.

                        It reminds me of the way they panic and want to outlaw guns and create gun-free-zones everywhere when some nut goes on a rampage. Statistics show that where guns are plentiful there is dramatically less crime but they don't care. They want to do the feel-good thing and create even MORE gun-free-zones, which are the places nuts prefer to go to kill people because they know nobody can shoot back.

                        So Arkansas will do the counter-productive feel-good thing and then when everything they wanted to improve gets worse they'll say: "Sorry, but we meant well" and then they'll hop on a charter for a government employees workshop in Vegas.

                        I Agree!

                        And a comment about bigger work loads for staff. The trouble is many people can use a bigger work load. If you
                        have time to talk on your cell phone, send personal emails, talk at the water cooler, gossip about fellow workers
                        then you need a bigger work load. People get used to easy, cushy, comfortable jobs where they have at least
                        'some fun'. Some slugs do not want to do their share and will be the first to complain about additional duties.
                        I certainly do not feel sorry for anyone that fits that reason they're using as an excuse not to allow passing.

                        Let them take greed out of the equation and maybe something wonderful can be done. When you deal in
                        big bucks and profits, it's easy to whine there won't be enough money if some of the funds are redirected
                        or applied elsewhere. Let them start being accountable and honest. Those 2 words together are probably
                        impossible to mix.

                        369 1009 1109 1099 110/011/101 

                          RedStang's avatar - laughing chimp.gif
                          NY
                          United States
                          Member #121955
                          January 21, 2012
                          3169 Posts
                          Offline

                          I think it's more about their pay cut then keeping players happy.

                            Avatar
                            Seattle, Washington
                            United States
                            Member #121147
                            January 3, 2012
                            130 Posts
                            Offline

                            I don't know a ton about the Arkansas lottery & how it's promoted, but if it's being sold in it's adverts as a way to fund scholarhips for needy students, then they've opened themselves up to political intervention.  However, if it's being sold as "we voluntarily contribute money to help needy students", then they may have a way to counter the mandate.  Otherwise, the politicos could argue that the lottery is not meeting it's expectatiions & they have the right to mandate changes...