Oklahoma's lottery forecast is down $5.5M

BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Modified: September 23, 2009 at 4:17 am •  Published: September 23, 2009
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Lottery revenues are expected to drop by $5.5 million next year because of the economy and the launching of a lottery in Arkansas, which kicks off next week, lottery trustees were told Tuesday.

The lottery, which brought in $193.2 million for the 2009 fiscal year ending June 30, is targeted to bring in $190.5 million this fiscal year, then shrink to $185 million the next fiscal year, said Jim Scroggins, the Oklahoma lottery’s executive director.

As a result, the lottery’s share for education also will drop. Scroggins said the lottery produced $69.2 million in the 2009 fiscal year, but projections call for education to receive $66.7 million this fiscal year and $64.8 million in the 2011 fiscal year.

House Appropriations and Budget Committee Chairman Ken Miller said he never thought the lottery would be consistent in funding education. "I’m not surprised that fewer people are choosing to flush their hard-earned money,” said Miller, R-Edmond.

Arkansas is poised to launch its lottery Monday — earlier than expected. Seven of the 10 largest vendors of Oklahoma lottery tickets are in eastern Oklahoma, and they could see sales fall after Arkansas’ games start, Scroggins said.


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Background
William Paul, chairman of the Oklahoma Lottery Commission, said the lottery as of Aug. 31 has raised $288.1 million for education. Lottery sales in the state started in October 2005, almost a year after voters in November 2004 approved a constitutional amendment setting up the lottery.

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