State lottery chief taps down revenue expectations

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POWELL, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming's lottery chief has low initial revenue expectations as the games make their debut in the state, the Powell Tribune reports.

"It's not going to be a whole lot in the first year or two," Wyoming Lottery Corporation CEO Jon Clontz said in an interview (https://tinyurl.com/p4sbfb4 ) this week.

Clontz said the lottery is expected to bring in $13 million to $17 million as it debuts. Expenses are expected to take between 35 to 45 percent of revenue, leaving $6 million for counties, cities and towns and the remaining for the common school account in the state land trust fund.

Earlier reports had suggested the state would bring in up to $20 million, but Clontz says to hit that mark, more games are needed beyond the Powerball and Mega Millions games for which tickets will go on sale Aug. 24. Video lottery and scratch tickets are among the games banned under the lottery authorization bill signed into law in 2013.

"I'd like to see scratch tickets come in," Clontz said. "They're fun. People like them. I'm getting asked a lot about them. Me personally, I hope we get to do scratch tickets."

Clontz said he knows the Legislature and governor would have to modify the law to allow scratch tickets or video lottery. The board can add a Wyoming-specific lottery, raffles or other forms of gambling without permission from the state, he said.

Clontz comes to Wyoming after two years as the deputy director and chief operating officer for the Oregon Lottery. He said he was attracted by the challenge of starting a state lottery.

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Information from: Powell Tribune, www.powelltribune.com

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