Arkansas Scholarship Lottery cites ‘inflationary pressure’ as August revenue suffers

Arkansas Scholarship Lottery cites ‘inflationary pressure’ as August revenue drops year-on-year
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The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery has revealed its revenue for August 2022 decreased by 1.6% year-on-year, dropping from $50.2m to $49.4m.

As reported by local news outlet nwaonline, this downturn has been partly attributed to a reduction in spending caused by inflation.

The lottery’s scratch-off ticket revenue also declined by 1.7% to $41.5m in August 2022 (August 2021: $42.2m).

Furthermore, its draw-game revenue, comprising games like Powerball and Mega Millions, also suffered a hit, dipping from $7.9m in August 2021 to $7.7m a year later, a drop of 2.5%.

Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Director Eric Hagler said on Monday that headwinds have clearly been an issue, based on information from the US Department of Labour that reports the US economy has seen 18 consecutive weeks of inflation running over 5%.

“Inflationary pressure for the consumer has led to a reduction in discretionary spending across the entire retail landscape, and [the] lottery is not immune to these effects,” said Hagler.

“Fuel prices are still [up] 40% from 2020, so the apparent reduction at the pump does not tell the whole economic story.

“Consumers have also seen a marked spike in their electric bills due to higher costs during near-100 degree weather. And, unlike July, there were no huge jackpots creating a drive to the counter in August.”

These are issues that the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery has discussed in previous months – its reduced revenue of $48.1m in May was blamed on rising fuel prices.

Meanwhile, the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery raised $6m for college scholarships in August 2022, a slight decrease from the $6.7m a year prior.

Asked about this drop in net proceeds, Hagler said “the accrual to cash [accounting] adjustment saw a swing against net proceeds this month.”

However, with unclaimed prizes of about $1.5m, Hagler is confident that the amount raised for college scholarships will fall back into line.

“Net proceeds, month over month, reveal very little.

“The real measure of net proceeds is the annualised number.”