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Kentucky lottery revenue grows to $1.20bn in 2019-20


The Kentucky Lottery Corporation took in record revenue of $1.20bn in its 2020 fiscal year ended 30 June 2020, a 6.2% year-on-year rise.

Online lottery revenue grew 68.0% to $45.0m, however, the Lottery Corporation noted that this was still only a “modest amount” of the total lottery revenue, at 3.7%.

The majority of revenue came from scratchcards, which brought in $741.1m, up 10.7% year-on-year.

Among draw-based games, Powerball revenue fell 32.1% to $49.9m, while Mega Millions revenue was down 41.4% to $37.0m, which the lottery said was due to a lack of large jackpots compared to the 2019 fiscal year.

The Pick 3 draw game, however, saw revenue grow 11.7% to $167.3m, while Pick 4 revenue grew 14.2% to $50.9m.

The year also saw two new draw-based games introduced, Fast Play and Cash Pop, which brought in a combined $17.9m in revenue.

Keno revenue fell 6.4% to $78.8m, which the Lottery said was mostly due to retailers closing their doors and keno monitors being disabled due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

“This was truly a successful year for not only the Commonwealth, but players and retailers as well,” Kentucky Lottery executive vice president and chief financial officer Howard Kline said.

“Our players saw a record $801.2 million in prizes paid, while our hard-working retailers realized a record-setting $71 million in commissions. 

“From a situation where things initially looked like they could turn bleak, we ended up with a win-win all the way around.”

Cash transfers towards good causes came to $278.5m, which was also a record. Of this total, $271.4 million went to the Kentucky General Fund to pay for college scholarships, grants and education programs, up 2.8% year-on-year.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said the funds would be of great assistance to Kentucky’s education system at a time of increasing importance.

“Now I know there’s people out there talking about taking a gap year about not necessarily moving forward with their education in the midst of this pandemic,” Beshear, who was elected governor last year after promising to legalize commercial casinos, online gaming and sports betting in the state, said. “I would highly encourage you to make sure you were taking advantage of these programs with historic amounts of aid out there. 

“Making sure we get a more educated and skilled population is one way that we also become stronger in and that if we ever see a pandemic like this again, we will not be hit as hard as we have been hit.”

Kentucky Lottery’s interim president and chief executive Marty Gibbs said the Lottery must now learn how to navigate the pandemic and its effects.

“The start to the new fiscal year looks very promising, but we’re in uncharted waters,” Gibbs said. “The continuing pandemic – and its effects on the economy – do create some level of uncertainty moving forward. 

“We’ll continue to provide fun and entertaining games in a socially responsible manner nonetheless, as we know Kentucky’s college students are counting on us now more than ever.”