May Scheve-Reardon has confirmed she will leave her role as Executive Director of the Missouri Lottery in July, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Scheve-Reardon has held the post for over 13 years but she announced her upcoming exit in Thursday’s Missouri Lottery Commission meeting, citing the crippling effects of the Missouri Legislature’s attempts to slash the agency’s budget.
The spending plan sent to Gov. Mike Parson’s desk includes a reduction in advertising and an elimination of funds used to promote the lottery at St. Louis Cardinals games, the Forest Park Balloon Festival, St. Louis Blues games and other events.
“We used all the tools that every other lottery uses. And those tools are being taken away from us,” said Scheve-Reardon.
“Our lack of advertising is starting to affect our sales.”
In 2021, budget cuts reduced a $1.5m advertising budget to $400k, while this year, they cut the remaining funds.
Lance Mayfield, Commission Chairman, was equally critical of the cuts. He said: “Corporations that do well aren’t stopping their advertising.”
The commission also lamented the lack of action by the Legislature on cracking down on the video lottery machines, which are unregulated and do not contribute money to the state’s education fund.
“We are in dire straits moving forward,” added Scheve-Reardon.
“By midsummer we will be swimming in these machines. We are very, very concerned about this trend.”