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Mass. Lottery revenue dropped by $1.3 million in one week and more losses are coming

Revenue at the Massachusetts Lottery dropped by $1.3 million last week and the shutdown of restaurants and bars will, among other Covid-19 restrictions, continue to reduce the amount of money that usually is sent to cities and towns from the lottery’s profits, according to the state agency.

Michael Sweeney, executive director of the Lottery, wrote in a statement that businesses that often rely on a steady stream of Lottery money will be directly impacted by the decline in sales triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. “The decreased sales and revenue production will also negatively impact the small business owners who are increasingly under financial duress,” he wrote.


But the overall impact will be throughout all of the state’s 351 cities and towns, he said, adding that the impact of the shutdown on public life was readily apparent to the Lottery.

According to the Lottery, sales for all kinds of instant tickets and lottery games declined by $1.3 million between March 8 and 14 when compared to the previous week. Total sales were at $110.2 million from $111.6 million, according to Lottery information provided to the Globe.

There were two minor brightspots - spending on the Lucky For Life game increased by $22,588 and game players spent $53,999 more on Powerball tickets during the most recent week, Lottery figures show.

The shuttering of bars and restaurants impacts the in-person Keno game more than any other of the Lottery’s offering, Sweeney said in a statement. “We anticipate a sharp decrease this week with restaurant and bar restrictions in full effect,'' he said.

He said that between April and June, the Lottery usually earns $251 million in profit.

“That’s the revenue risk of a full shut-down,” he said. But “it‘s too early to forecast the full negative impact this will have."

The Lottery will be tracking the impact during the crisis, Sweeney said.


John R. Ellement can be reached at john.ellement@globe.com. Follow him @JREbosglobe.