South Dakota Lottery products are producing money for state at a better than expected pace

Capitol News Bureau
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PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — If your perspective is that success can be measured by the public spending more on what you sell, these are good times for the five members of the South Dakota Lottery Commission and the state lottery’s executive director, Norm Lingle.

The panel at its quarterly meeting this morning will review projections showing revenue growth for state government is now forecast millions of dollars ahead of what the governor’s and the Legislature’s financial analysts had estimated just six weeks ago.

The latest numbers show combined revenues from scratch tickets, lotto jackpot games and video lottery are now expected to exceed $148 million by the June 30 end of state government’s current budget year.

That’s based on actual sales through February 28. It’s approximately $20 million more than the $128.4 million that the lottery netted during the past budget year.

It’s also some $6 million more than the Legislature’s appropriators set as their estimate in mid-February.

In dollars, most of the increase is expected from video lottery. The privately owned terminals brought in about $116.5 million as state government’s share for the past year and are now forecast to generate nearly $135.3 this year.

Actual net machine income from players’ losses at the terminals climbed more than 16% through February 28 in comparison to a similar period in the previous budget year.

State government takes in fewer dollars from the lottery’s other two products, but their sales rose even more as percentages. Lotto jackpot sales went up 27.3% and scratch ticket sales climbed 31.6%. The state’s take from those are now forecast to exceed $7.5 million from lotto and $6.3 million from scratch.

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