COVID Blamed in Part for Nosedive in Massachusetts Lottery Sales
COVID-19 has been blamed for a lot of things going wrong in our society since it first arrived in 2020. Add slumping Massachusetts Lottery sales to the list.
According to State House News Service, "Lottery sales in September were down $40.3 million or 8.9 percent compared to September 2021, and every single product was in the red for the month. Through one quarter of fiscal year 2023. Lottery sales are down $60.8 million or 3.8 percent compared to the same time period last year."
Interim Executive Director Mark William Bracken told the Lottery Commission on Tuesday due to fewer prize claims so far this year, the Lottery is only behind last year's profit pace by $13.2 million.
The downward spiral is a trend that has Lottery officials concerned. It was recently reported that the Lottery Commission hopes to make the Lottery more appealing by adding new games and concepts.
Inflation is taking a sizable bite out of Lottery sales as fewer people have extra cash to purchase scratch tickets.
"Scratch ticket sales make up about 67 percent of the Lottery's business and are down $70.4 million or 6.7 percent so far this budget year," the SHNS reported.
Massachusetts isn't alone in suffering a loss of scratch ticket revenues.
"Scratch ticket sales are down six percent in New Hampshire, down 6.7 percent in New York, down 9.2 percent in Connecticut, down 10.9 percent in Vermont, and down 12.4 percent in Rhode Island," the SHNS reported.
In addition, over 400 Lottery agents suspended operations during the COVID-19 shutdown, and most were permanent closures. Bracken says there are 4.5 percent or 334 fewer Lottery agents selling products now than before the pandemic.
There is also concern about the impact sports betting might have on the Lottery once it begins in the new year.