The legislature’s decision to ban TouchPlay machines means the state will collect 22.7 million dollars less from the Iowa Lottery this year, compared to 2006. Lottery spokesperson Mary Neubauer says, in fiscal year ’07, lottery sales totaled 235 million dollars.
The lottery raised 58.2 million dollars for the state’s general fund. That figure is down from the 2006 total of 80.9 million dollars. Overall, lottery sales declined by 31 percent in the first year after dropping TouchPlay.
"It’s a bit of a strange comparison," Neubauer says, "since there’s such a big product missing from this year’s mix." This year could be considered a record breaker for the Iowa Lottery, if TouchPlay profits are dismissed from ’06.
Neubauer says it was a record year for sales of the lottery’s long-standing lotto, scratch, and pull-tab games. The state banned TouchPlay in May of 2006, over concerns that the games looked and acted too much like slot machines, which are only allowed in casinos.