October 31, 2014

Wisconsin Lottery sales up

A report from the Legislative Audit Bureau shows Wisconsin Lottery sales are up 11 percent over the last five years, resulting in more benefits for state property taxpayers. According to the report released Tuesday, Lottery sales between 2008 and the end of the 2011-12 fiscal year resulted in about $700.8 million dollars in state property tax relief.

Laurel Patrick with the state Department of Revenue says the revenue increase was driven by strong sales for the Power Ball and Mega Millions games, higher priced offerings for scratch tickets, and instant ticket books that remain popular.

The audit does criticize the agency for the use of licensed branding on some of its games, arguing that similar products without trademarked properties on them sold just as well or better. Patrick says those products have benefits beyond sales, because they can attract attention to the Wisconsin Lottery and are a key part of its market strategy. Patrick also points out that all of those licensed games were profitable.

During the 2011-2012 fiscal year alone, more than $547 million worth of Wisconsin Lottery tickets were sold. About 58 percent of that money went back to game winners, with the rest going to property tax relief.