Massachusetts Lottery has announced an increase in profits in its September sales results, showing it has successfully navigated through the initial disruptions of the pandemic earlier this year.
However, Executive Director Michael Sweeney’s report, via wbur, has also revealed that the lottery’s second most popular product is losing ground.
Sales appear to have mostly rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, as the report stated the lottery’s September sales of $421.3m were up $20m over September 2019 and year-to-date sales of $1.37bn are running $80.6m, or about 6%, above the same time period last fiscal year.
The Bay State’s lottery turned an estimated profit of $61m last month, compared to $68.4m in September 2019. Sweeney said the profit fall was due in part to a $10m increase in instant ticket grand prize claims last month. It has generated profits of $31.8m through the first quarter of fiscal 2021, greater than at the same point last year.
While sales are returning to what they once were, the effects of the widespread business closures are evident.
Scratch tickets generally take up 70% of all sales, Keno generally accounts for another 20% and the rest of the lottery’s games each command a few percentage points of the total.
However, with bars closed due to COVID-19 and many restaurants offering limited indoor service, closing for the winter or having already shuttered this year, Keno players have fewer options and year-to-date Keno sales are down nearly 10% as a result. The game has been responsible for 17.2% of lottery sales since July 1.
While Keno sales are down $24.5m or 9.4% so far this fiscal year, scratch ticket sales are up $99.7m, or 11.3%. Instant tickets, the Numbers Game and Mass Cash are the only lottery products to have sold more so far in fiscal 2021 than to this point in fiscal 2020.