Massachusetts Lottery shares scratch ticket concerns after July slump in sales

Massachusetts Lottery shares July update as scratch ticket sales decline
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The Massachusetts Lottery has this week issued an update on its start to the fiscal year 2023, revealing concerns over its scratch ticket and Keno sales.

As reported by State House News, the Massachusetts Lottery has suffered a decline in sales in both divisions, with Interim Executive Director Mark William Bracken describing the hit to its instant ticket numbers – where sales were down 6% ($22.2m) in July – as being the “most shocking”.

Bracken noted in a report to the Lottery Commission: “And that is a trend that we have seen both nationwide and into this current month of August as well that we’ll be discussing at the next commission meeting, as well as our Keno sales being down $5.5m (5%), which is also a trend nationwide.

“Plus, we did happen to have a very warm August which, generally speaking, keeps people outside and less in restaurants and liquor establishments. So that’s contributing to some of that decrease.”

These two product categories account for nearly 88% of all the lottery’s sales, though they have enjoyed contrasting fortunes in recent years.

Scratch tickets have become a slightly smaller share of the lottery’s gross sales, falling from 69.4% of sales revenue in FY2021 to 66.9% in FY2022.

Meanwhile, the lottery’s Keno division gained ground last year, moving up from 18.2% of sales in FY2021 to 20.8% in FY2022.

The dip in scratch tickets sales comes at a time when Massachusetts is preparing to further expand commercial gambling with sports betting, which was legalised at the eleventh hour of the last legislative session.

However, in more positive news for the Massachusetts Lottery, overall lottery sales were up $15.7m in July.

The agency also posted a monthly estimated profit of $102.9m, up 7% year-on-year (July 2021: $96.2m).

This, according to Bracken, is partly due to “a combination of a $42.1m increase in Mega Millions sales for the month as a result of a $1.3bn jackpot, and a $5.1m decrease in instant ticket grand prizes being claimed for the month.”

The lottery also had an estimated $13.3m increase in net profit through the first month of FY2023 compared to the start of FY2022.

The previous fiscal year was actually a record-breaking one for the Massachusetts Lottery as the organisation achieved record revenue numbers.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the lottery recorded $5.86bn in revenue to topple its previous high of $5.83bn

Instant ticket sales totalled $3.9bn, while Keno generated $1.22bn in total sales.