Review of the Florida Lottery, 2020
Report 21-02, January 2021
- Lottery transfers to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund declined in Fiscal Year 2019-20 to $1.914 billion, $13.3 million (0.7%) less than the prior year. This decline is primarily due to lower sales of draw games such as the multi-state POWERBALL and MEGA MILLIONS jackpot games, which were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Several additional game and product distribution options are available to further increase transfers to education. However, some options could represent expanded gambling.
- The Department of the Lottery continues to outperform the legislative performance standard for its operating expense rate, which is the third lowest in the nation.
- We reviewed procedures for retiring scratch-off games and followed up on prior findings regarding the launch of a new mobile app, responsible play initiatives, preventive measures against underage play, and the retailer integrity program.
- The department determines the end date of lottery games based on factors such as sales level, the games’ seasonality, and whether a game has any top prizes remaining. When all of the top prizes in a game have been claimed, the department sends notifications to retailers’ lottery terminals and updates the Florida Lottery website and mobile app.
- In June 2020, the department launched a new mobile app. Among its features, the app allows players to check winning numbers and jackpots; check past winning numbers, prize levels, and payout amounts; and find Florida Lottery retailers.
- The department also implemented additional responsible play initiatives, which included providing employee and retailer training and pursuing certification for its responsible gaming programs. The department relies on its contracts with retailers and other preventive measures to stop minors from purchasing lottery tickets. If the Legislature wishes to implement additional measures, it could consider requiring the department to configure all of its vending machines to require ID scanning for age verification. Alternatively, the Legislature could consider requiring use of ID scanning technology only in high-traffic or other targeted areas or requiring players to confirm their age or enter their birthdate before making a vending machine purchase.
- The department continues to implement its retailer integrity program, which includes analyzing data to identify suspicious patterns of behavior, following up on customer complaints, and conducting operations to identify retailers/clerks who steal winning tickets. The department further enhanced player protection by including a ticket scanning function in the new mobile app.
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