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Pennsylvania Lottery Sales Up Big, Profits Not So Much

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(credit:  William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

(credit: William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — The Pennsylvania Lottery once again set records for sales and profits in the fiscal year just ended, but there’s a big difference in the numbers for both categories.

The sales figures might seem to undercut Governor Tom Corbett’s desire to privatize management of the Pennsylvania Lottery. But the profit numbers are a different story. Sales were up more than 6-percent — by almost $219 million. But profits were up by just a fraction of that amount – only $6 million.

“Player preference continues to lean toward the higher payout instant games,” said Revenue Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Brassell. “Instant games are taking over a larger chunk of our portfolio.”

So while sales were up almost $219 million, Lottery payouts in the last fiscal year were also up — by $197 million.

The state attorney general refused to approve the first contract negotiated by the Corbett administration for a private Lottery manager. Brassell says the administration is still considering a possible revised proposal.

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