Mass. Lottery profits beating projections

Printed from:

BOSTON — State Lottery revenues are “running a little bit over” projections, and officials at the money-making agency plan to consider readjusting their forecasts in April.

Projected to produce $962 million in annual profits to supplement municipal budgets, the state-run gambling agency has clocked $686.3 million in net profit through the first eight months of fiscal 2016, according to Executive Director Michael Sweeney.

“We’re running a little bit over what that projection originally was, but we’re not changing the projection at this time,” Sweeney told the News Service. He said the Lottery would take a “hard look” at any changes in April.

In fiscal 2015, the Lottery made $985.8 million in profit.

Sweeney said Lottery business has not been hurt by the entry of Plainridge Park Casino, the state’s first slots parlor, which opened last June. Sweeney credited Treasurer Deborah Goldberg with moving to “saturate” the area around the Plainville gambling hall, and Goldberg said Plainridge provided “good machine location” for the Lottery machines on the slots parlor property.

Through February, gamblers have wagered $1.22 billion at Plainridge in fiscal 2016, and the Lottery recorded $3.47 billion in gross sales through most of February.

The payout at Plainridge has been over 90 percent since July while the Lottery payout just recently dipped under 73 percent.

“While the payout on some of the machines may be higher, there’s also a question of the volume of the payout on a $5 ticket,” Sweeney told the News Service. The Lottery offers players the chance to win $1 million on a $5 wager.

Instant tickets make up 69 percent of sales and saw greater year-over-year sales growth than drawing games or Keno, and Sweeney said growth is driven by the more expensive tickets.

— Written by Andy Metzger

Copyright State House News Service