All the more reason why we should have our casino gaming money controlled by the state. It will even out the highs and lows of lottery sales.
In California, where cash shortages grew so severe in 2009 that the state was forced to issue IOUs to pay its bills, collections from ticket sales dipped 3.2 percent from 2008, to $2.7 billion. California now forecasts that lottery revenue will increase by $447 million, from fiscal 2010, to $3.5 billion in the budget year that ends in June.
California is taking a different approach. Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who left office this month, signed a law in April to give the lottery latitude to pay out more of its revenue in prizes, a bid to draw more in more consumers. In California, lottery money is used to finance schools, a perennial target of lawmakers’ budget cuts.
“When you can pay out more, you can sell more tickets,” said Alex Traverso, a spokesman for the California lottery.