The Massachusetts State Lottery has reported a year-on-year decline in revenue and net profit for the 2020 fiscal year, primarily due to the impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Revenue for the 12 months to June 30, 2020, amounted to $5.25bn, a decrease of 4.7% from $5.51bn in the corresponding period in fiscal 2019.
The Lottery said that sales were particularly hit in March, April and May, when the Covid-19 pandemic began to spread more rapidly across the state and the US. During these months, sales were down $244.6m from the same period last year.
However, the Lottery also noted that it experienced strong sales in the lead up to the outbreak of Covid-19, as well as in June when shops began to reopen across the state.
Instant ticket sales for the 2020 fiscal year totalled $3.65bn, down 0.74% from record sales of $3.67bn in fiscal year 2019. The closure of restaurants and bars as result of the pandemic also pushed Keno sales down 7.2% from a record $1.01bn to $979.0m.
In terms of draw-based games, the Lottery said that smaller jackpots meant Mega Millions and Powerball sales were both down. Mega Millions sales fell 50.9% and Powerball sales 47.1%, with combined sales for the two games slipping $141.0m year-on-year.
The Lottery’s network of around 7,500 retailers earned approximately $300.8m in commission and bonuses during 2020, which the Lottery said represented an average of over $40,000 in income for each of its retail partners.
Looking at winnings, the Lottery paid out around $3.87bn in prizes to players in 2020, the third highest total in its history, with consumers winning 185 prizes valued at $1m or more. This, the Lottery said, meant some 73.6% of revenue was returned to players in 2020.
Taking this into account, this left the Lottery with $979.0m in net profit for the year, a decrease of 11.3% from a record figure of $1.10bn last year.
“Our top priority during these unprecedented times has been the health and well-being of our employees and customers,” Massachusetts State Lottery Commission Treasurer Deb Goldberg said.
“I am grateful for our loyal customers and proud of the work the Lottery team and dedicated retail partners have done to adjust operations in order to continue to generate essential local aid. At a time when we face mounting challenges, these resources are even more critical for our cities and towns.”
Massachusetts Lottery executive director Michael Sweeney added: “From the early stages of the pandemic, the Lottery has been committed to operating within the guidelines recommended by state and federal officials, taking significant measures to create a safe environment for Lottery team members and the public.
“More important than setting records across the board last year, we faced significant operational challenges and overcame them.”
The Lottery also noted that while the current figures have not been formally audited, it does not expect them to change substantially once the annual review process is complete by the end of September.