Florida Lottery Receives Additional $10.6 Million In Latest State Budget

The Florida Lottery was rewarded for its positive performance with a $10.6 million earmark in Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ state budget.

The designated funds should help the Florida Lottery system further update its technology, expand its workforce, and provide additional bonuses to high-performing employees.

The investment in the Florida Lottery follows a fiscal year in which the lottery fund, which benefits the state educational system, set records thanks to the annual sales of tickets, including lottery draw games.

“During Fiscal Year 2022–23, the Lottery achieved record-breaking sales of $9.8 billion and contributed $2.4 billion to the state’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund (EETF),” the Florida Lottery noted in a news release. “Remarkably, operating costs accounted for less than one percent of revenues, demonstrating the Lottery’s continued commitment to efficiency and placing it among the most efficient lotteries nationwide.”

Florida Lottery plans further investment in technology, staff, and performance

Florida Lottery Secretary John F. Davis spoke highly of the new budget in the press release, saying the increased spending “reflects a strong commitment to innovation, ensuring the Florida Lottery remains at the forefront of lotteries nationwide.”

With the newly-assigned funds, the Florida Lottery plans to allocate the money to the following projects and areas:

Technology

  • $2.5 million to implement advanced technology to upgrade and enhance the lottery’s database and operating systems.
  • $393,000 for the installation and maintenance of redundant data circuits at lottery facilities.
  • $300,000 for the lottery’s Division of Security to operate an enhanced case management system.

Staffing and enhancing ticket sales

  • $712,000 allocated for high-performing sales representatives, who can receive up to $5,000 in bonuses annually for exceeding sales projections.
  • $580,000 to hire five sales representatives, who will be responsible for implementing a pilot sales project to increase ticket sales in the Miami district.
  • $245,000 targeted for the recruitment and hiring of three Retailer Contracting Analysts, who will expedite the initial processing for new lottery retailers.

Operations enhancements

  • $400,000 for the hiring of four System Quality Assurance Analysts, who will optimize the lottery’s deployment and testing of system upgrades.
  • $330,000 for the hiring of two Law Enforcement positions in Miami and Ft. Myers. Those positions will improve the operations of the Division of Security’s services in South Florida.
  • $300,000 to hire six OPS-Claims Processing workers at lottery headquarters who will expedite the payment of winning lottery claims.

Florida ranked first in US for traditional lottery sales in FY23

Overall, the additional investment in Florida’s lottery will help keep the system as a vibrant revenue stream that supports the state’s education.

According to 2023 fiscal year data, which was released by the North American Association of State & Provincial Lotteries (NASPL) in April, Florida led the entire country in traditional lottery sales with approximately $10 billion in sales.

Florida ranked ahead of California, Texas, and New York, which were the only other states to surpass $8 billion in sales last year. The Georgia Lottery ranked fifth, with over $6 billion.

The NASPL data focuses on traditional lottery sales, which include draw games, scratch-offs, and more. However, traditional lottery now comprises only a portion of the revenue picture with the development of iLottery and other new formats.

The traditional Florida Lottery market grew by 8% in fiscal year 2023. Overall, nine of the top 10 states in the US experienced traditional lottery sales growth last year.

The Michigan Lottery saw the most, expanding sales by an impressive rate of 23.9%. Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Lottery was the only state in the top 10 to decline from the previous fiscal year, losing 5.5% in sales.

Overall, 45 of the 50 states in the country offer a retail lottery, and Florida’s latest budget aims to keep the Sunshine State among the leaders.

New funds to help Florida face challenges of regulated gaming

Challenges are always always present in the lottery industry. Florida recently faced one of its own when lottery claims were withheld because of a state system error that said certain winners had been overpaid in unemployment benefits.

Most lotteries prevent winnings from being paid out to people who owe the state money or are behind on child support until their debts are clear.

That problem was not the fault of the Florida Lottery system, but the issue has been corrected nonetheless. With continued investment in its technology, staffing, and operations, the Florida Lottery system can remain a profitable revenue stream for the state.

According to the NASPL, state lotteries have raised over $614 billion for their government programs since 1964.

In Florida specifically, the state lottery has provided more than $46 billion in education funding and supported more than 983,000 students with college aid through the Bright Futures Scholarship Program.

 

Photo by mnimage via Shutterstock
Graphic from the Florida Lottery

About the Author

Nathan Frederick

Nathan Frederick

Nathan Frederick is a graduate of Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and has over two decades of experience in the sports and gaming industries. His work includes digital and print media, numerous podcast appearances, and more than 1,000 published bylines. He has also authored three books, one of which launched as an Amazon No. 1 New Release. You can email him at [email protected].
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