The legislature’s delay — and likely future termination — of an Arkansas Lottery plan to begin quick-draw video games akin to keno has forced a reduction in the lottery’s budget for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015.
Following director Bishop Woosley’s recommendation, the Lottery Commission approved a revised budget that anticipates about $78 million for net scholarship revenue for the year, down from $81 million. Gross revenue was reduced from about $429 million to $416 million.
The legislature could authorize video games by the lottery at the regular legislative session, but the opposition that forced the lottery to pull back from a plan to have the games underway by September suggests that could be hard struggle. The lottery began in 2009 and its net for scholarships has been as high as $100 milllion in a year. Scholarship amounts have been cut as the net has decreased. The value of the scholarship has dropped from $5,000 a year to $2,000 for four-year-college enrollees.