The C.E.O. of the Iowa Lottery says things have picked up after a tough winter and he expects them to meet their revenue projections. Terry Rich says sales were over two million dollars above the budget projection for March. Rich says the sales have been doing very well, and he says compared to other gaming interests across the U.S. and Iowa, they are ahead of everyone.
He says January, February proceeds were down due to the weather, but he says March and April are coming back with help from the Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots. The lottery also got an $800,000 boost from the raffle drawing. Iowa started selling the Mega Millions game in February along with Powerball. Rich says they expect to see some increased revenue from Mega Millions down the line.
He says states that had Powerball have seen incremental increases, while the states that started selling Powerball along with Megamillions, saw a marked increase in revenue because of large Powerball jackpots. Rich says they expect to benefit once the Powerball jackpot is won and drops down, and the Megamillions jackpot increases.
Right now he says they sell four Powerball tickets for every Megamillions ticket in Iowa. The Iowa Lottery has turned just over $43-million to the state so far this fiscal year, which is 5.4% below the projected budget.
The Iowa Lottery could see 21 employees take the early retirement program if they don’t change their minds by the June deadline. Rich says they expect to fill all but nine of those positions with new hires.
Rich says they will have to do what they can in the short term to find people to fill those spots to ensure they have enough people out to get the tickets in the store. Rich says the retirements will have an impact on the lottery’s budget for this year. Rich says the Iowa Lottery generates revenue and is known as an authority, so they have to take all the expenses for the people who retire this year. He says that will give them a $1.1 million expense hit to their budget. Rich says they should be able to absorb that expense and still make their budget goals.
The Iowa Lottery will also ask for a waiver on the budget cutting process that requires a cutback in supervisory personnel. Rich says they have some security concerns over cutting back in that area because the lottery handles money at various locations in the state and needs the proper supervisory control to ensure there are not problems.