There’s another sign that Iowa’s economy is slowing — state lottery sales are down six-percent in the fiscal year that began on July 1st. Lottery spokeswoman Mary Neubauer says the downturn began at the end of last fiscal year, spurred in part by the weather disasters. She says they’ve been alerting the legislature and the governor’s budget staff about the downturn.
"We had anticipated that this was going to be a tough year for the lottery and we had budgeted very conservatively for the year," Neubauer says. The decline means the state will lose one to two million dollars in lottery profits, but she believes that conservative budgeting will keep them from having to revise revenue estimates.
"I think our figures are within the budget estimates we had made for the state." Neubauer says Iowa is not alone in seeing lottery sales drop consumers cut back on discretionary spending.
"It’s basically from coast to coast. I’ve seen reports from Carolina from California showing that lottery sales are down in many states," Neubauer says, "now that’s going to vary from state to state and be dependent on the circumstances there." Neubauer says the Iowa sales are down across-the-board, from Powerball to pull tab tickets.