North Carolina Education Lottery sales fall as economy weakens

RALEIGH, N.C. – The poor state of the economy in North Carolina is slowing state lottery ticket sales for the first time since it started selling tickets five years ago.

According to sales projections published recently, the North Carolina Education Lottery won’t raise as much money in the current fiscal year as it did in the one that ended July 1.

The document also showed that the amount that the lottery sends to the state education fund would fall by about $17 million from the previous year’s record $419 million.

Alice Garland, acting lottery executive director said that North Carolina’s lottery slowdown reflects a nationwide problem. From the the 43 state lotteries, just six are now holding steady or gaining income.

She added, “We’re competing for entertainment dollars, and when the economy is in a sustained recession, entertainment dollars are the first thing to go.”

On Wednesday, the lottery commission was given revised estimates for use in its new budget. Based on slower sales from July through the end of October, the new projected total sales for this fiscal year are $1.35 billion, which would generate $402 million for education.

Garland said she thinks the new estimates for lottery sales are conservative and that the lottery can beat them. Lottery officials have made or will soon make changes in games to boost sales, such as adding more drawings for its popular Pick 3 and Pick 4 games.

source: News Observer

Published: December 16, 2010

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