The C.E.O. of the Iowa lottery says bars are an area where they can see growth in the business next year, especially in small towns. During a statehouse budget hearing, Lottery C.E.O., Terry Rich, told the governor and his advisors to expect about $60-million in lottery proceeds next year for the state.
Rich says adding new games and expanding into more retail locations are some of the ways the lottery could make more money. Rich says the lottery wore out its welcome with the bars by the removal of the Touchplay machines and the smoking ban.
“With the decrease in smoking, the past with the monitor video machines that were pulled out, some of the bars said I don’t know if I want to deal with the state,” Rich says. He says the lottery could help small town bars and restaurants generate more income.
“If they’re looking for ways to improve their cash flow in these small towns. We may look at bringing back some of that business. We’re in quite a few bars and restaurants in small towns at this point,” Rich says.
Rich told the governor that lottery sales have been hurt by the popularity of other amusement machines in bars, where patrons win coupons to redeem for food and drink. The legislature raised the limit on those machines from $5 to $50. Rich says they are also considering expanding into big box stores.