Lottery Sales Hit Records In 17 States

Posted By on November 30, 2011

It’s called “Take a shot”….“We have a situation where a lot of people are struggling financially — the last thing we should be doing is telling people to go out and gamble,” said Hann, a Republican from Eden Prairie.  Now Walmart wants to sell lottery tickets, and no doubt soon the food stamp money will be “taking a shot” too.

Overall, states got an average 2.4 percent of revenue from lotteries and other forms of gambling in 2009, according to a report last year from the Albany, New York-based Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government.

California is poised to have its best year of lottery sales ever after a 2010 law signed by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger allowed bigger prize payouts, spurring interest in the games and supporting higher-priced tickets.

Sales increased 13 percent in the year that ended June 30 – – the second-highest growth rate in the country behind Arkansas, where the lottery was in its first full year of operation. At the California Lottery, the popularity of a new $10“Scratchers” ticket introduced last month is expected to push sales this year above $4 billion, said Alex Traverso, a spokesman.

“This is shaping up to be a record year,” he said.

The Florida Lottery, which is rebranding to counter slow growth, is also looking at potentially record-setting sales above $4.17 billion in fiscal 2012 after the lottery went where no state lottery had gone before: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) Tickets went on sale in about 30 smaller Wal-Mart grocery markets inFlorida last month — a pilot program being watched by lottery officials nationwide.

www.bloomberg.com

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