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Hoosier Lottery eyes record revenue

– Hoosier Lottery revenue is on pace to grow by about 9.5 percent for the fiscal year that ends Sunday, helped in part by an increase in the cost of Powerball ticket prices and bigger jackpots.

The Indianapolis Business Journal reported the five-member Hoosier Lottery Commission was told last week that revenue for the 2012-13 fiscal year will be about $945 million, up from last year’s record $855.6 million. But commission officials were told the net income increase won’t be as large: $227.6 million, up about $200,000.

Lottery spokeswoman Stephanie McFarland said those numbers have not been confirmed and she could not comment until Monday.

Indiana Gaming Insight Publisher Ed Feigenbaum said the lottery’s revenue was aided by Powerball’s price increase from $1 to $2 in January 2012, which led to bigger jackpots. The lottery’s forecast predicts total Powerball sales will hit $140.4 million, a 28 percent jump over last year.

In May, when the Powerball jackpot reached $590 million, Indiana sales were $22 million, a 65 percent increase over $7.8 million in the same month last year.

One reason the record sales won’t bring in more money for Indiana is because the lottery is spending nearly $23 million on advertising, about twice as much as last year.

GTech, a Rhode Island-based subsidiary of Italian company Lottomatica, was selected in October to oversee the Hoosier Lottery’s daily operations.

GTech plans to launch televised drawings for Mega Millions and Powerball this summer, according to a tentative schedule presented to the commission. GTech estimates it will spend $1.2 million on television station fees in the next fiscal year.

The company said when it was hired it could increase lottery revenue in part by expanding the player base.

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