Hoosier Lottery profits to state grow by 2% in year

By The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — The Hoosier Lottery is turning over about $312 million in profits to the state in a jump of 2% from a year ago.

A report presented Tuesday to the Indiana Lottery Commission shows that lottery ticket sale revenue grew about 6% to nearly $1.35 billion, spurred by jumps in sales for both scratch-off games and tickets for jackpot games such as Mega Millions and Hoosier Lotto.

Lottery officials said a record amount is being transferred to the state, but it remains below the original goal of $410 million by 2018 set when the commission hired a private company in 2012 to run most of Indiana's lottery operations. Lower goals were established in a renegotiated contract, resulting in an $11.2 million performance bonus payment to IGT Indiana for this past year.

Lottery Executive Director Sarah Taylor credited the "skills and expertise of an international gaming company" for helping improve lottery results.

Hoosier Lottery proceeds to the state have increased by about 50%, from $205 million in 2012, which was the last year before the privatization contract took effect.

The state directs $60 million of the lottery proceeds to pension funds for teachers, police officers and firefighters, with most of the rest going toward reducing auto excise taxes.

Indiana saw Mega Millions ticket sales skyrocket in October when the jackpot reached $1.6 billion, making it the biggest lottery prize in U.S. history. Lottery officials are projecting a slight drop in revenue for the coming year as they expect jackpot game sales to drop.

"It's a relatively conservative look at where we expect jackpots to be," said Carrie Stroud, the lottery's chief of staff.

This is the second year IGT Indiana is receiving a bonus payment under the 15-year contract that sets net income amounts the lottery must reach for the bonuses or a penalty payment from the company if revenue falls short.

The company missed the minimum income targets in 2014 and 2015, prompting state officials to revise the contract in 2015.




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