- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery’s revenue and net proceeds dropped for the second straight year, officials said this week.

The director of the state’s scholarship lottery, Bishop Woosley, said the revenue dip can be attributed to drops in sales of scratch-off and Powerball tickets. He said he hopes changing a state law to allow people to purchase lottery tickets with debit cards will boost ticket sales and proceeds for college scholarships.

According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/1p8sVfP ), the lottery projects net proceeds will continue to drop.

State Sen. Robert Thompson, a Democrat from Paragould and co-chairman of the lottery oversight committee, said this week that the figures “were not great, but that was expected.”

This year’s revenue slipped by $29.5 million to $410.6 million, and that the amount raised for college scholarships declined by almost $9 million.

The Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarships have helped more than 30,000 students in the past four years. The state legislature has cut the size of the scholarships twice before, partly because the lottery wasn’t generating enough money.

Woosley said the slump in Powerball ticket sales is a national trend and that they’re working with officials with the national game on how to boost sales.

He said lottery officials are planning a new branding and marketing campaign to coincide with the lottery’s fifth anniversary.

The lottery, which kicked off in September 2009, saw its revenue peak for fiscal 2012.


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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