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Lottery director: Profit rules hurt education in Oklahoma

BY ROLLO REDBURN Published: December 19, 2012

The editorial points out that the lottery has reduced operating expenses and staff to help maximize earnings for education and “will reduce the percentage retailers that sell lottery tickets get to keep.” The lottery has reduced staff from 38 to 28 and has cut most expenses. The commission paid to retailers has been protected for several years, but there is little left to cut except prizes. Cutting prizes will reduce sales and profits. Our intention is that by reducing the percentage paid to retailers, and protecting prizes as much as possible, we can protect sales and minimize actual dollar decreases to our retail partners. Changing the commission rate requires a rule change that goes to the governor and the Legislature; the lottery cannot simply change it.

These changes are intended to provide more funding for our education programs. We should encourage our leaders to consider them.

Redburn is executive director of the Oklahoma Lottery Commission.