Maryland Lottery revenue taking a hit from state casinos.
Maryland Lottery revenue is down $8.3 million so far this year as some players shift their gaming dollars to the state’s casinos.
With little more than two months to go in the state’s fiscal 2013, lottery revenue is at $444.9 million through April 22. That is down 1.8 percent from $453.3 million at the same point in fiscal 2012, Lottery Director Stephen Martino said Friday.
“Casino gaming is, to a certain extent, canibalizing the traditional lottery,” Martino told members of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency at its monthly meeting.
At the current pace, full-year fiscal 2013 lottery revenue — sales minus payouts to winning players and payments to retailers — will fall below the $556 million reached in fiscal 2012, Martino said at Friday’s meeting.
Martino attributed much of the drop to lower revenue from the Lottery’s Keno games as some players switch their allegiance to slots play. Keno revenue is down 8.5 percent to $47.1 million through April 22. Keno, played in bars and restaurants, is similar to slots in that there are continuous games throughout the day, unlike a daily, or weekly Lottery drawing.
Revenue from Mega Millions, a multistate lottery, is also down in fiscal 2013, further cutting into the amount of money the Lottery gives the state, Martino said.
Mega Millions revenue is down 42.5 percent to $21.7 million compared with the same point in 2012 when a record $656 million jackpot in March 2012 attracted greater interest. To attract more players, Martino and the rest of the consortium of lottery directors that oversees Mega Millions is looking to increase the size of the jackpots by decreasing the odds of winning.
On a positive note, revenue from Powerball, another multistate game, is up 49.4 percent so far in fiscal 2013, to $40.5 million. That has helped offset lower revenue from Keno and Powerball.