Crosby hears Lottery’s fate

CROSBY – Not as much money is being spent on the Texas lottery as in the past, learned attendants of a luncheon June 16.

Robert Heath filled in for Regan Greer, Director of the Texas Lottery Commission, at the Crosby Community Center during the Crosby Huffman Chamber of Commerce monthly assembly. Heath was formerly with the Texas Railroad Commission before going to work on the Texas Lottery Commission. Greer may have been elsewhere explaining why payoffs were lower than estimated jackpots.

Smaller volume of dollars spent on lotteries is happening in other states, according to Heath: “Discretionary money has more competition, including the internet, casinos, powerball and even illegal video gambling terminals.”

About 70% of the lottery’s revenue is now from scratch-off tickets. The lottery experienced a dramatic increase in scratch-off tickets sales when the scratch-off tickets included up to $30 per ticket with a 50-50 chance of the player getting his money back.

About 30¢ of every dollar spent on the Texas Lottery goes to school funding. More accurately, $1.1 billion of $3.5 billion in 2004 went to fund to schools.

In an aside, Governor Perry, that same day, indicated the school funding bill (that called legislators back to Austin) should give teachers a raise and reduce property taxes. Not being able to count on a huge lottery increase may cause that lack of funding to be recovered from other taxes.