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SD lottery revenue stands flat

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news Mitchell, 57301

Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

PIERRE -- Players spent slightly less money on South Dakota Lottery games through the first nine months of this budget year than for the same period in 2013.

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That would mean less revenue for state government if the trends continue, officials told South Dakota Lottery Commission members Thursday.

Sales of jackpot lotto tickets are off last year's pace by $1 million. Instant scratch-off tickets and video lottery are up tiny amounts.

Net income from video lottery was $137.9 million through March 29. That's about $200,000 more than at the similar nine-month mark a year ago.

"It looks like nothing's moving," Deb Reese said. She is the lottery's security director.

Video lottery income is split approximately 50-50 between state government and the private owners of the machines.

Net machine income at traditional video-lottery terminals averaged $46.72 per day per machine since May 1, 2012, while new line-up terminals that resemble slot machines averaged $61, Reese said.

There are now 1,850 of the line-up terminals in establishments. The total number of video lottery terminals was 9.057 as of March 29, down from 9,134 a year ago.

Establishments are also down in number, from 1,430 to 1,404.

Scratch-off ticket sales meanwhile are "up a fraction," according to sales director Joe Willingham. They total $18.46 million through 39 weeks, an increase of about $30,000.

"It's been a long, cold winter. Bad weather hurts scratch games," he said.

Sales of lotto tickets continue to trail last year's pace but the deficit is down to 4.65 percent. Willlingham said the gap previously was double-digits.

Lotto sales reached a record last year in South Dakota. They are at $22.53 million so far this budget year, off $1 million from the year-ago pace.

"Just about everybody across the board (nationwide) is looking down," Willingham said.

Lottery director Norm Lingle said a new multi-state lotto game will be coming later this year. He said it could be a $5 game.

The five lotto games currently available in South Dakota offer basic plays for $1 or $2. Several games also offer a multiplier feature costing an additional $1 that boosts the amounts of non-jackpot prizes.

Lingle said plans also call for freshening-up South Dakota's own Dakota Cash lotto game.

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