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SD Lottery expects less income this year than last

PIERRE (AP) — The South Dakota Lottery is anticipating a slight decrease in revenue this year.

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Lottery officials estimate $105.7 million in revenue for the fiscal year ending in June 2014. Last year revenue reached $107.5 million.

Lotto game sales are down 4.6 percent, reports Joe Willingham, director of sales for the lottery. He said sales are down for other states as well.

The South Dakota Lottery Commission discussed the figures at a meeting Thursday.

"Based on the excitement — or lack thereof recently — I'm not confident that we can top last year's numbers, though we should come close," Willingham said.

He said last year was a record year. Last year's lotto sales were $23.6 million. Sales this year are $1 million behind.

Video lottery remains level, as does the sale of instant ticket.

"It looks like there's nothing moving. It is extremely flat," said Director of Security and Video Lottery Deb Reese about video lottery.

Willingham said poor weather hurts sales of instant ticket scratch games. He thinks sales will pick up with the arrival of spring weather.

While sales for most of the lotto games are down, the Mega Millions game sales have increased by almost 80 percent. That game, while not performing exactly as lottery officials hoped, is boosting lotto sales.

The South Dakota Lottery is within the state's Department of Revenue. Lottery revenue goes toward lottery administration costs, the state's General Fund and other state coffers.

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