The Washington Post

Md. lottery sales grew slightly in fiscal 2011

With enough customers undeterred by the fragile economy -- or perhaps inspired to play because of it -- the Maryland Lottery recorded another record year of sales, officials said Monday morning.

The lottery saw more than $1.7 billion in sales during the fiscal year that ended in June, up about $8 million over the previous year. The small uptick was sufficient for lottery officials to claim a 14th consecutive year of rising sales.

“It’s gratifying to have added yet another year to the record books, especially in light of the challenging economy,” Maryland Lottery Director Stephen Martino said in an early morning statement. “Every dollar in revenue from the Maryland Lottery is a dollar less that needs to come from taxes.”

Lottery officials said more than $519 million of its sales receipts were directed to Maryland’s general fund, the state’s primary operating budget, which funds education, public safety, health, environmental and other programs.

The officials, who also oversee the state’s fledgling slots-machine gambling program, said slots generated an additional $50 million during the 2011 fiscal year for education programs.

That figure is below the roughly $75 million legislative that analysts had projected when lawmakers approved the framework for Maryland’s slots program in 2007. A series of delays and setbacks have resulted in only two of the state’s five slots sites being open so far. Officials therefore expect slots revenue in fiscal 2012 to fall far short of projections.

In the traditional lottery program, more than $1 billion was paid in prizes during fiscal 2011, officials said.

Here are other sales details, according to a news release:

“Mega Millions and Powerball, the Maryland Lottery’s multi-state jackpot games, registered a combined $159.3 million in sales. Combined sales for all Lottery jackpot games — Mega Millions, Powerball,Bonus Match 5 and Multi-Match — totaled $208.7 million. The Maryland Lottery’s monitor games, which include Keno, Keno Bonus, Keno Super Bonus, Racetrax and Racetrax Bonus, made a strong showing with combined sales of $496.7 million, an increase of nearly $4.7 million from last fiscal year.

“In other game figures, Pick 3 totaled $260.8 million in sales with $130.8 million in prizes to players. Pick 4 sales came in at $254.6 million with $126.9 million in prizes to players. The Lottery’s instant games, or scratch-offs, garnered nearly $493.5 million in sales.”

John Wagner is a political reporter covering the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.


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