With Arkansans facing a ballot initiative this year to create a state lottery, it’s a good time to look at the lottery dynamic in other states. Lawmakers in neighboring Texas are contending with declining revenues from the state lottery and considering their options—including privatizing the lottery. The Dallas Morning News reports:
But as revenues from lottery ticket sales – including scratch-off cards and online tickets such as Lotto Texas and Pick 3 – hit their second straight year of decline this fiscal year, legislative leaders have become concerned about the future of the lottery.
“The easy money from the Texas Lottery has already been made. Growth will not be easy from here on out,” said Eugene Christiansen of Christiansen Capital Advisors, a consultant to commercial gambling and entertainment industries.
In Texas, those state revenues are significantly greater than the estimated $50-100 million that Arkansas might expect to command from a state lottery. But it’s worth looking at what other states are facing, as Arkansas will face those same hurdles in just a few years. (Note that I’m talking like the Arkansas lottery is a done deal, because I think it is).