Arkansas Scholarship Lottery revenue decline blamed on rising fuel prices

Arkansas Lottery
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A rise in the price of fuel has contributed to the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery recording a reduced revenue of $48.1m in May, according to the Arkansas Democratic-Gazette.

The local news outlet reports the lottery’s revenue for May has dropped $9.5m year-on-year, a continuing theme for the company.

The lottery’s revenue dropped from $65.5m in April 2021 to $51.8m in April 2022, according to the Northwest Arkansas Democratic-Gazette.

In January, Director Eric Hagler warned lawmakers of a challenging start to the year, believing there would be an element of “cooling”.

Speaking on Tuesday, Hagler explained: “There is absolutely no doubt that record gas prices and rising grocery costs are weighing on lottery performance.

“If consumers are forced to spend more on necessities, then there is certainly less discretionary income for items of pleasure and leisure.”

The sentiment was shared by Tony Zimmerman, Owner of Zimmerman’s Exxon in southwest Little Rock, who has noticed a dramatic drop-off in lottery ticket sales during the past few months.

“A lot of it has to do with fuel [prices],” he agreed.

The lottery’s scratch-off ticket revenues also dropped from $48.7m in May 2021 to $40.4m in May 2022, while draw-based game revenues dipped from $8.8m to $7.6m over the same period.

The state’s 2022 fiscal year concludes at the end of June.

During the first 11 months of FY2022, the lottery has raised $85.3m for college scholarships – down from $91.5m over the same period in FY2021.