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Pandemic continues to batter state lotteries and programs

Jul 13, 2020, 5:01 pm

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While some states see sales increases, others bear the economic brunt

By Kate Northrop

Unsurprisingly, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to batter state programs and lotteries as lottery revenue streams take a hit. While some state lotteries saw unprecedented sales increases within the past few months, diminished sales in other states leave others in a realm of uncertainty, looking for ways to make up for the deficits.

Sales for nationwide draw games and state lottery games alike saw an expected downturn as retailers, restaurants, and bars closed their doors due to stay-at-home orders. Delaware took a sizable hit, with sales down nearly $40 million in May compared to the previous fiscal year. Virginia's sales were down over $45 million in March as opposed to last year — that's a drop of 21%.

Lottery corporations are the first to feel the impact of the sales hit, but what does this mean for state-funded programs that rely on lottery revenue?

As a result of limited funds from the lottery, many of these programs receiving money downstream from the lottery and state treasuries must adapt.

For example, in Oregon, money from the state's lottery is often allocated toward programs that benefit education, the environment, and veterans. Although revenue from the lottery does not make up a relatively large portion of the entire state budget, losses in lottery revenue can seriously affect those programs that are routinely supplemented by lottery sales.

"We got used to [the] lottery as a constant companion supporting the system, and it was a gut punch to realize we don't have the time to react," spokesperson Chris Havel said on behalf of Oregon Parks and Recreation.

By June 30, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department had laid off 47 full-time employees and withdrew its decision to hire 338 seasonal staff members for the upcoming year. The move comes after a budget shortfall of $22 million, which would normally have been supplied by three main sources: camping and parking fees, RV registration fees, and Oregon Lottery funds.

Another state lottery impacted by sales decreases is Massachusetts, where more than 1,500 retailers were forced to shut down. While this does not mean that it was impossible for players to buy tickets at some locations, the stay-at-home order and closure of retailers definitely made it harder for players to spend their money.

Massachusetts' sales drop was at its lowest in April when sales dipped 30%. Things looked like they were beginning to rebound in May with sales down 10%.

Massachusetts Municipal Association's Executive Director Geoff Beckwith addressed the concerning decline and emphasized that the next step is to prioritize specific programs and areas.

"Declining state tax revenues and Lottery proceeds are a serious budget concern," he said in a statement. "Yet the Massachusetts Municipal Association firmly believes that the state's future depends on protecting local aid and K-12 education funding."

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10 comments. Last comment 25 days ago by How2win.
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Raven62's avatar - binary
25
New Jersey
United States
Member #17842
June 28, 2005
127337 Posts
Online
Posted: July 13, 2020, 5:50 pm - IP Logged

Its Not Over yet folks: Stay Healthy!

A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges: When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous.

    Avatar
    Billionaires Row 57th street Manhattan
    United States
    Member #197346
    April 9, 2019
    4530 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: July 13, 2020, 7:19 pm - IP Logged

    We are just getting started forget about being over babehhh

      Avatar
      Pennsylvania
      United States
      Member #78050
      August 6, 2009
      833 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: July 13, 2020, 9:51 pm - IP Logged

      Could not go out to buy the tickets. 

      I don't like buying online.

      I did sneak out to buy my books I buy each month.

      The COSTS of EVERYTHING has EXPLODED !!!

      I use to buy a bottle of 91 Proof Alcohol for personal use and craft work. 

      I cannot even find it in the stores because they are using it for Hand Sanitizers and Charging the MOON for it.

      I quart of 91% was less than 2 bucks.

      I 12 oz Bottle 9.99 - 

      Masks too!!  Gloves Too!   Yes I wear Gloves outside of my house.

      Steaks that were 12.00 lb.  Now it's doubled.  Along with the other foods and supplies.

      So, not alot of "Fun" Money leftover. 

      Yup.  They will have a down turn until we beat the Beast !!

      Life Is Wonderful If You Don't Weaken

        greatguy's avatar - peace
        Cali
        United States
        Member #198167
        May 13, 2019
        106 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: July 14, 2020, 12:15 am - IP Logged

        Noticed the MegaMillions and PowerBall are taking 2x or 3x as long to grow

         their Jackpots.Eek

          music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
          Fresno, California
          United States
          Member #157851
          August 2, 2014
          3922 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: July 14, 2020, 2:56 am - IP Logged

          Noticed the MegaMillions and PowerBall are taking 2x or 3x as long to grow

           their Jackpots.Eek

          Yes, greatguy, I have noticed the slow growth of MM & PB.  I look at the opportunities to win increasing with every draw. More chances to hit the jackpot. 

           For example these MM & PB Cash Lump Sums are $91 and $87 million respectively. Who could not use these jackpots?

           Good Luck!!

           "We are all in this together!" 

            Avatar
            Simpsonville
            United States
            Member #163184
            January 22, 2015
            2229 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: July 14, 2020, 8:37 am - IP Logged

            Yes, greatguy, I have noticed the slow growth of MM & PB.  I look at the opportunities to win increasing with every draw. More chances to hit the jackpot. 

             For example these MM & PB Cash Lump Sums are $91 and $87 million respectively. Who could not use these jackpots?

             Good Luck!!

            Just give me five #'s with their respective multipliers (sorry music*) and all set.

              Avatar
              Chasing $ Millions.
              White Shores- California
              United States
              Member #136473
              December 12, 2012
              6269 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: July 14, 2020, 11:40 am - IP Logged

              l know this much, if anyone of us hits either jackpot: This pandemic will be an afterthought. Not that we will cast precautions to the wind, but that a Brand New Day...begins!

              *As Picard said " Make it so."

               * Voice of Reason *   

               

              People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

                SaraAnnRapp's avatar - Lottery-059.jpg

                United States
                Member #205233
                March 19, 2020
                297 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: July 14, 2020, 12:56 pm - IP Logged

                Just give me five #'s with their respective multipliers (sorry music*) and all set.

                I Agree!

                I play PB and MM for the lower tier prizes with the multiplier. I don't really spend much time thinking about the top jackpot to be honest. Winning a couple mil by getting a straight five, replete with multiplier, would be just fine by me. I also wouldn't turn my nose up at the lesser prizes either. Yes Nod

                  Avatar
                  New Member

                  United States
                  Member #205225
                  March 19, 2020
                  13 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: July 14, 2020, 1:08 pm - IP Logged

                  I personally like buying online. It makes it easier getting paid.

                    Avatar
                    Pensacola FL
                    United States
                    Member #194815
                    December 31, 2018
                    322 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: July 14, 2020, 1:36 pm - IP Logged

                    We can't afford to keep losing our money with the price of everything that we need going up