News

Lottery collects record revenue, but challenges lie ahead

Written by Ben Allen and Radio Pennsylvania | Aug 1, 2014 4:00 AM
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(Harrisburg) -- Revenue for the Pennsylvania Lottery hit a record level in the most recent fiscal year, but there's concern for the future.

Players spent $3.8 billion on Lottery games, up from about $3.5 billion last year.

Despite the revenue increase, the Lottery passed along the lowest percentage ever to programs for seniors: 28.5 percent.

Legislation requires the Lottery to return at least 27 percent of overall revenue, and next year, Elizabeth Brassell, Lottery spokeswoman, says it will have to pass along an even higher percentage: 30 percent.

"So with no legislative action, the Lottery will be faced with having to dramatically adjust its product portfolio, cutting prize payouts, and ultimately cutting profitability for programs benefitting older Pennsylvanians."

Brassell says buyers are shifting towards instant games, which result in prizes more often than more profitable numbers games.

Earlier this year, Governor Corbett ended an attempt to sell off the Lottery to a British firm in return for $34 billion over 20 years.

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