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Impact of virus weighed as state lottery revenue dips

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Impact of virus weighed as state lottery revenue dips

The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery has weathered the coronavirus crisis for the most part so far, despite the pandemic having a devastating impact on the nation's lottery industry, lottery Director Bishop Woosley said.Get more news about 彩票包网开版,you can vist

Lotteries have experienced varying degrees of sales reductions due to covid-19, he said. States with shelter-in-place orders or other restrictions on residents are experiencing greater sales declines because lottery players cannot easily get to retail locations to purchase tickets, said Woosley, who is president of the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries.
The Arkansas lottery's March revenue slipped by $4.1 million from a year ago to $47.8 million and the amount raised for college scholarships dipped by $1.2 million to $7.3 million, the lottery reported Friday in its monthly report to Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the Legislative Council's lottery oversight subcommittee.

Scratch-off revenue last month inched up by about $866,000 over the same month a year ago to $41.6 million, while draw-game revenue dropped by about $5 million, to $6.1 million, the lottery reported. Draw games include Powerball, Mega Millions, Natural State Jackpot, Cash 3, Cash 4, Fast Play and Lucky for Life.

Woosley said that in March 2019, the Arkansas lottery was bolstered by a $750 million Powerball jackpot and that's why draw-game revenue was significantly larger then compared with last month. Draw-game tickets are more profitable to the lottery than scratch-off tickets.

"Otherwise, we had a very good month and actually beat our instant ticket sales last March by around $800,000," he said in a written statement. Instant tickets also are called scratch-off tickets.

"It is really amazing considering the turn of events of the last 2 to 3 weeks of the month," Woosley said.

Arkansas had its first confirmed positive case of coronavirus on March 11. Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who has resisted requiring people to stay at home to ride out the pandemic, has touted what he has called his "target approach" to combating the virus.

The state lottery, which started selling tickets Sept. 28, 2009, has helped finance more than 30,000 Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarships in each of the past nine fiscal years.So far in fiscal 2020, scratch-off revenue reached $310.4 million -- an increase from $306.3 million in the same period in fiscal 2019. Draw-game revenue totaled $57.9 million -- a drop from $85.7 million in the same period a year ago.

Woosley said that in this fiscal year, the largest jackpot was $400 million, compared with a $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot, Powerball jackpots of $750 million and $700 million, and several other jackpots exceeding $500 million in fiscal 2019.

"It is impossible to compete with those type of jackpots when the draw-game jackpot levels are lower," he said.

During the first nine months of fiscal 2020, the lottery has raised $57.5 million for college scholarships, down from $68.3 million in the same period a year ago.