A few weeks ago we told you about how the Arkansas Lottery’s “revenue” (i.e. lottery ticket sales) was down along with lottery scholarships. Last week, amid all the talk about DOMA and marriage, one news story got less attention than it deserved: The Arkansas Lottery is giving raises to 80 employees, including its director.
Earlier today Family Council staff member Ken Yang attended a meeting between lottery officials and lawmakers who are on the Lottery Oversight Committee. Below are highlights from the meeting.
- With two months remaining in the lottery’s fiscal year, the lottery is $5.9 million behind in projected revenue. In other words, sales are down.
- 2014 net proceeds (the money that goes for scholarships) are projected at $89.5 million–millions of dollars lower than previous years.
- The lottery has authorized “higher staff compensation” (i.e. “raises”) in its budget for fiscal year 2014.
- MegaMillions, one of two multi-state lotteries Arkansas participates in, is going to be overhauled. In the future players can expect even worse odds than ever before on the top prizes. Too many people are winning, and the company responsible for the game thinks making it harder to win the big jackpot will cause more people to buy tickets.
Last week the Arkansas Lottery Commission approved a budget for fiscal year 2014 predicting lottery revenue to decline by several million dollars.
According to an article in last week’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the decline will be $21 million altogether.
Reviewing the budget approved last week reveals that revenue itself is expected to go down by more than $9 million; the 2013 budget expected lottery ticket sales to top $98.5 million, while sales for 2014 are only expected to go as high as $89.5 million.
Additionally, charts accompanying the budget indicate lottery ticket sales are down for the spring of 2013 over the spring of 2012.
All of that means less money for the scholarships the lottery is supposed to provide, and verifies what we said before: Lottery ticket sales cannot stay high forever; eventually they drop, and they drag scholarships down with them.