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Mass. State Lottery generates record $1.1 billion net profit

Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff/File/Globe Staff

The Massachusetts State Lottery generated $1.1 billion in net profit for the latest fiscal year, the greatest haul in its 48-year history, state Treasurer Deborah Goldberg said.

Revenues for the fiscal year that ended June 30 also set a record, ringing in at $5.5 billion, compared with $5.3 billion the previous year, Goldberg said in a statement Thursday.

The lottery generated $997 million in net profit the previous fiscal year and $1.039 billion — its previous record — in the 2017 fiscal year, according to the statement.

“Lottery profits provide critical unrestricted aid for all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth,” Goldberg, who is chairwoman of the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission, said in the statement.

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“I am proud of our Lottery team and our dedicated retail partners. Over the last three years, together, they have produced more than $3 billion that directly supports our local communities.”

But with great profit comes great responsibility. Marlene D. Warner, executive director of the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling, said in a phone interview Thursday that the state must be mindful of the estimated 2 percent of residents that has a gambling disorder and the additional 8.4 percent at risk of a problem.

“While it’s great for Commonwealth of Massachusetts that this record level of resources has come in through sales from lottery products, they need to continue to be proactive with their response to responsible and problem gambling services in the Commonwealth for lottery players who are negatively impacted, Warner said.

The lottery paid out nearly $4 billion in winnings in the last fiscal year — also a record — returning about 72 percent of revenues to players, the statement said, with more than 200 prizes valued at $1 million or more, and 26 of those prizes worth $2 million or more.

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Administrative costs were below 2 percent of revenues, the lowest rate in the nation, Goldberg said.

Retailers set another record, taking in $314 million in commissions and bonuses in the year recently ended, the statement said, about $11 million more than the previous high, set the year before.


Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.