N.C. Education Lottery: How Other Lotteries Raise Additional Monies for Good Causes

Published Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 12:24 pm

RALEIGH – The N.C. Education Lottery provided an overview to a legislative committee today that highlighted ways other state lotteries raise additional monies for good causes.

The presentation came at the request of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on the North Carolina State Lottery. The committee asked for information about games already offered elsewhere to learn more about possibilities for new games in North Carolina and changes that could help raise additional monies.

“This month, the lottery will mark its 10th anniversary, so we are glad to share information on ways for the lottery to meet its mission of raising money for education,” said Alice Garland, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery. “Other states have been in the lottery business for a much longer time. What’s been successful elsewhere could also be successful here. One challenge facing all lotteries is keeping games fresh and relevant to today’s consumers.”

This year, the lottery expects to exceed $2 billion in lottery ticket sales for the first time ever and to raise more than $529 million for education programs.  The presentation included information on new types of games, including:

  • Keno, a popular draw game primarily played in social establishments. Drawings can be held every three to five minutes. Currently, 15 U.S. lotteries offer a Keno style game.
  • “iLottery” style games, including instant, interactive and draw games played on the Internet. Four state lotteries, including Michigan and Georgia, offer some version of “iLottery” games.

“We just started a new draw game, Lucky for Life, and at this time do not have a new game on the drawing board,” said Garland. “But for the lottery to continue its record of increasing sales and earnings every year, it will be important to keep up with the interest of consumers and to keep up with changes in technology that determine how and where they want to buy and play lottery games.”

The committee asked the lottery to provide information on video lottery games. Currently, seven state lotteries, including those in Oregon and West Virginia, offer video lottery. In those states, video lottery terminals are part of central operating systems with strict internal controls. Video lottery games could not be offered by the Education Lottery without additional legislative authority.

The committee also reviewed the lottery’s advertising program. Independent performance audits have found that the law restricting advertising revenues to no more than one percent of revenues limits the lottery’s ability to increase sales and earnings for the state. The lottery estimates that if it could spend an additional half percent of revenue on advertising it could raise an additional $29 million a year for education.

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