S.D. Lottery forecasts a big increase, again

Capitol News Bureau
KELO Money

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Players lost about $8.5 million more at video lottery terminals during July and August than in the similar two months last year, the South Dakota Lottery Commission learned Thursday.

Lottery officials now forecast that state government will get more than $176 million from video lottery in the current fiscal year. That would be up from $148.6 million for the 2021 fiscal year that ended June 30.

State government receives 49% of the money that players lose in the privately-owned machines. State government’s total net from all lottery games — instant scratch-off tickets, jackpot lotto draws and video — is expected to climb past $190 million for fiscal 2022, up from $163.1 million.

“This is quite a year,” commissioner Jamie Huizenga said. He noted the numbers overall were “substantial” and praised Governor Kristi Noem for not shutting down lottery operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’ve taken a bad situation and actually come out of this in pretty good shape,” he said.

The lottery was state government’s second-largest source of general fund revenue in fiscal 2021.

Sales director Marla Gruber said sales of instant tickets for July and August were up 7.75% from last summer “It’s a very exciting time,” she said.

Christmas-season tickets go on sale October 4.

She said no one’s come forward yet to claim the $2 million Powerball prize from the August 28 drawing. The ticket was sold at the Yankton HyVee store.

Clark Hepper, the lottery’s deputy executive director, said advertising seems to be clicking and players are responding. ‘”It all seems to be working together perfectly right now for us,” he said.

A significant part of the revenue growth from video lottery reflects the increasing number of line-style games. They’ve grown to 58% of the more than 9,000 terminals in the field, while old-style legacy machines are down to 43%, a drop of 15% in the past year, according to Jordan Kitts, director of security and video lottery.

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