Gov. Wolf Thinks New Online Games Will Turn Lotto Revenue Around

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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf says online lottery sales should help turn around the fortunes of the state’s declining PA Lottery program. According to Department of Revenue financial statements, the PA lottery posted $1.04 billion in revenue in the last fiscal year. However, that number was down more than $75 million from the previous fiscal year. Now, in his budget for the 2018/19 fiscal year laid out earlier this month, Wolf claims new lottery games will bring in an additional $71 million. The new games include online lottery and Monitor Games games including Virtual Sports and Keno. Wolf announced a plan to launch Monitor Games at PA lottery retailers, bars, and taverns in October 2017. Later that month, state lawmakers also passed a comprehensive gambling expansion bill authorizing the launch of online lottery sales, online slots, online poker, and online table games. Improving the fiscal condition of the PA Lottery The Governor’s Budget in Brief document says the government is taking steps to improve the fiscal condition of the Lottery: The PA lottery plans to launch online lottery games this spring. Pennsylvania Lottery spokesperson Gary Miller told the Capitolwire news and information service (subscription) this week it is all a part of a plan to update an aging lottery program: PA Lottery proceeds go to elderly residents The Pennsylvania Lottery first launched 1972. All proceeds have gone to programs for elderly residents as mandated by the government since that time. This includes underwriting tax and rent rebates as well as prescription drug subsidies for eligible senior citizens. In January, PA Lottery spokesperson Jeffrey A. Johnson told online lottery sales will generate up to $250 million in new profits over the first five years. Other major initiatives in the Governor’s $33 billion budget for the 2018/19 fiscal year include increasing funding for public schools and raising the minimum wage. Plus, Wolf plans to place a new tax on natural gas drillers. The budget takes effect July 1 if approved by the state legislature. Photo by George Sheldon /

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