The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports an uptick in ticket sales at the Arkansas Lottery. According to the article, sales for September, 2015, were the highest of any September since 2011.
Here’s the bad news: Despite this uptick in sales, the Arkansas Lottery only allocated 18.3%–$6.6 million–of its gross revenue for scholarships last month.
While we’re still only one quarter of the way into Fiscal Year 2016, these numbers put the Arkansas Lottery on track to pay out roughly $71 – $75 million in scholarships this fiscal year–$80 million on the high side.
To put these numbers into perspective, $75 million is a full $25 million less than lottery proponents insisted the Lottery would provide for scholarships six years ago, and 18.3% is barely better than half of the percentage Louisiana’s lottery allocates.
What’s more, according to Lottery officials, the Lottery’s uptick in sales during September was bolstered in part by a new $20 scratch-off ticket and a high PowerBall jackpot.
This is more of the same failed strategy. The Lottery’s strategy since Day One has been to prop up ticket sales artificially by rolling out new games. People are always excited to try the new lottery games, but as soon as the novelty wears off, ticket sales decline again. (more…)