The Florida Lottery has revealed record-breaking sales of $9.3bn in the Fiscal Year 2022, $370.3m (2.8%) higher than expected.
As reported by WUWF, this was achieved despite a ‘slowdown’ in play during the second half of the year, and economists had actually forecast FY2022 sales of $8.9bn.
But this recent downturn, according to Tuesday’s report by the state Revenue Estimating Conference, is likely to continue over the next few years because of a “softening economy and pressures on disposable personal income”.
“Because it only existed for a partial year in FY2022, operation over a full year produces strong positive growth rates,” the report stated.
However, play is expected to decrease in FY2023 for all but two games – one of those is Mega Millions, which recently saw a surge in ticket sales due to the massive jackpot on offer that had been building for a number of months.
The Mega Millions jackpot of $1.3bn was eventually won by a player in Illinois last week.
The other game expected to survive a slowdown in play is the lottery’s newest game Cash Pop.
Justin Rock, the lottery’s Deputy Secretary of Product and Sales, has attributed a big part of the sales increase in FY2022 to a $50 scratch-off game introduced in February.
But he said an overall slowing of sales in recent months was felt nationwide.
“Last fiscal year, there were nine other states that saw growth between July (2021) and January. And then there was an abrupt fall-off year over year for every state,” Rock told economists during a July 27 meeting.
“That week after Christmas is really when everybody started to note it, as did we.”
The Virginia Lottery has forecast a 1% sales drop in FY2023 from the previous year, with growth at 0.2% in FY2024 and around 1% annual through FY2028.
Holger Ciupalo, Policy Coordinator for the governor’s Office of Policy and Budget, argued at the July 27 meeting that the state’s growing population should counter economic “headwinds.”
“We have never seen growth rates that are remotely near population growth, it’s always been happening mid-single digits or higher,” Ciupalo said.
The lottery has seen an increase in play since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and sales for the past fiscal year will result in the lottery, for a second consecutive year, distributing more than $2bn to the state’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund, according to the conference report.