espite the pandemic, the Massachusetts Lottery has set a new record in the fiscal year that ended last month as it set new standards for revenue, profit, prize payouts, commissions and bonuses for retailers, scratch ticket sales, and Keno sales.
The agency announced on Tuesday that the Lottery generated an estimated profit of $1.105 billion to be used for local aid from $5.827 billion in revenue while paying out $4.283 billion in prizes and handing out $333.3 million in commissions and bonuses in fiscal 2021. The previous records were $1.104 billion in profit from $5.509 billion of revenue while awarding $3.987 billion in prizes in fiscal 2019.
Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, who chairs the Lottery Commission, said: “Despite the pandemic, this year the Lottery experienced record-setting sales. Thanks to our lottery team, retail partners, and particularly our customers, we will again be able to deliver critical resources to every community in the state.”
Setting an all-time record, lottery players bought more than $4 billion worth of scratch tickets in fiscal 2021, as Keno also set a new record with $1.057 billion in total sales, a game often played in bars and restaurants that were not able to operate at full capacity for much of fiscal 2021 and which usually counts for 20% of the Lottery’s overall sales, has been pointed to for months as a key to the Lottery’s strong performance.
The Lottery had initially projected that it would end fiscal 2021 with an estimated profit of $940 million, however, it later changed that estimate in March to $985 million as sales defied expectations. In mid-June, the agency announced another upgrade, this time projecting that it would produce $1.06 billion for the Legislature to pass on to cities and towns in the form of local aid.
The fiscal 2021 numbers will still need to be audited, but the Lottery said it “does not expect them to change substantially” by the time the audit is completed in September, reports the WHDH News.
Goldberg and the Lottery have been attempting for years to secure legislative authority to sell Lottery products online, arguing that the Lottery’s profits are not sustainable without the ability to compete with various online gaming options for younger players. The Lottery continues to post-sales and profit records even as the Legislature remains cool to online lottery products.