DECLINING SALES: Scratch-offs fade as lottery revenue source.
The state Lottery Commission
yesterday heard another report on declining revenues
and again lowered expectations on profits expected to put into lottery college scholarships.
This was inevitable and predicted here before the lottery was underway. The thrill is gone. We are nearing the point, too, where scholarship payouts from the lottery will be outstripped by inflationary increases in tuition and other costs, though defenders would say, yes, but it's still money.
Pressure will grow to add keno, video lottery terminals and other up-to-date ways to separate people from their money more efficiently. Those are stopgap measures. The problem is the explosion of options for gambling, not just the busy duopoly casinos at Oaklawn
, but on-line games and betting options of almost limitless permutations.
The scratch-off ticket is, increasingly, the gambling drug of choice for only the very poorest of Arkansas. Even they seem to be catching on that it's a poor bet.