While lottery sales are likely not a barometer of how a regulated online poker industry may fare in California, it’s interesting to note that the California Lottery passed the $5 billion mark in sales –for the first time ever.
A press release announcing the milestone was issued recently and put the actual dollar total for the 2013-14 fiscal year at $5.03 billion. That’s a 13.2% increase over the previous year and marked five years in a row of solid gains.
State lotteries often help fund public school systems and California is no different. Of the $5 billion in revenue, a whopping $1.35 billion was allocated to better the education of California schoolchildren in over 1,100 school districts.
:It’s been an exciting year for the California Lottery, with great new games and promotions and big jackpots,” said Acting California Lottery Director Paula LaBrie. “We’re proud of the record-breaking amount of supplemental funds sent to California’s public schools. However, it’s a new year and we plan to work even harder to further our mission of supporting those schools and their students.”;
A look at some of the numbers provided in the recent press release indicate that total sales were $588 million more than last year. Retailers who sell the tickets claimed $345 million in commissions and other incentives, and 89 Californians became new millionaires. Also, a mind-boggling $22 million in winnings went unclaimed.
Hope remains that some of those lottery players will find their way to legalized California online poker sites in 2015. Of course, that’s dependent upon the approval of an ipoker bill, which has thus far failed to materialize in the Golden State.