Pennsylvania Lottery Has ‘Resumed Processing Claims’ After Delays

Consider it short-term pain for long-term gain. The Pennsylvania Lottery recently upgraded its computer system to provide a number of enhanced features, but in the interim, it has also created a slight delay in the processing of prize claims for tickets like lottery draw games.

In order to implement the new system, Pennsylvania Lottery prize claims had to be placed on a brief hold this past March, delaying their fulfillment (which is typically awarded within 4-6 weeks) to between eight and 12 weeks.

Pennsylvania Lottery Press Secretary Ewa Swope explained in a recent statement to PlayiLottery:

“The Pennsylvania Lottery recently implemented a new computer system as part of a multi-phase modernization project. The project involves upgrading vending equipment, improving technology, and debuting many new features that will greatly improve the playing experience for our players. As part of the transition to the new computer system, it was necessary to place a brief hold on processing prize claims. We have since resumed processing claims, and our staff is now working overtime to move every claim that was on hold through the pipeline as quickly as possible. We expect that we will return to our normal processing timeline (four to six weeks) in the very near future.”

Pennsylvania Lottery upgrades were completed this past March

The transition to the new PA Lottery system not only delayed the payment of some claims, but also impacted the ability to purchase certain tickets.

The system upgrade was scheduled for mid-March and was completed shortly thereafter.

PA Secretary of Revenue Pat Browne, who helps oversee the Pennsylvania Lottery, said in a recent release:

“We have a thorough plan in place to make sure (the) transition to the new computer system has as little impact as possible for our players. This phase of our project is mainly taking place behind the scenes, but it’s a big move for us to improve our business, expand sales, and continue our mission of responsibly generating funding for programs that benefit older Pennsylvanians.”

Now, the Pennsylvania Lottery is moving forward with an updated system, and the prize claim fulfillment timeline is improving.

Swope added:

“We are very appreciative of our players’ patience and understanding during this time. We are working as quickly as we can to resume normal operations.”

PA Lottery revenue experiences fiscal year drop, Fast Play growth

The most recent PA Lottery statistics reveal a concerning drop in overall lottery sales, but an encouraging increase in the growth of Pennsylvania online lottery FastPlay games.

Pennsylvania recorded $366.7 million in total lottery sales in February. That number represented a 4.3% reduction compared with the numbers from February 2023 ($383.2 million).

The fiscal year numbers also show a decrease compared with last year’s cumulative totals. The fiscal year, which began July 1, now has eight months of data available, and PA Lottery sales show a decline of 5.4% overall. In the 2022 fiscal year, Pennsylvania had $3.41 billion in lottery sales through February.

Both trends are troubling, but the PA Lottery can at least point to a bright spot with the emergence of its Fast Play market.

In February, Fast Play game sales rose 19.2% over February 2023, reaching a total of $14.3 million.

Unfortunately, the Fast Play market owns just a small share of the overall PA Lottery revenue, with scratch-off sales accounting for approximately 64.2% of the total and draw games representing 31.3%. Fast Play games are currently responsible for just 3.5% of the state’s lottery sales, but there’s hope that the percentage may continue to grow.

Lotto sales are in the midst of a three-year slump in Pennsylvania

Overall, the state has witnessed three straight years of declining sales growth, and this year’s initial results don’t suggest that the trend will change.

It’s also expected that March’s PA lottery sales will lag due to the system upgrades.

But the site maintenance and updates should enhance gameplay, performance, and potentially even boost sales for the PA Lottery moving forward.

 

Photo by Novikov Aleksey via Shutterstock
Graphic from the Pennsylvania 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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