May. 15, 2019

HARRISBURG—The House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee has unanimously passed legislation sponsored by Rep. Thomas Murt (R-Montgomery/Philadelphia), chairman of the committee, to increase lottery profits by lowering the rate of return of lottery games. The increased profits would go to programs for seniors that are funded by the Pennsylvania Lottery.

“This change is important in order to ensure that the lottery has enough revenue to continue to fund necessary programs benefiting a dramatically growing population of older Pennsylvanians,” said Murt.

Act 201 of 2014 reduced the mandated rate of return from 27% to 25%. This relief gave the lottery the ability to update products in order to meet consumer demand and maximize profits for programs benefiting older Pennsylvanians. As the lottery system continues to try to increase ticket sales to increase revenues available for senior programs, it has requested an additional reduction of the statutorily mandated rate of return beginning in Fiscal Year 2019.

House Bill 956 would temporarily reduce the rate to 23% for the next three fiscal years until June 30, 2022.

“Lowering the percentage of game payouts allows the lottery to increase profits by not binding the lottery on how much it can sell of certain games, especially high-profit games like scratch-offs,” Murt said.

The lottery sets the game payouts based on the statutorily mandated rate of return months in advance. By changing the mandated rate of return now, it provides the lottery with the ability to prepare the future game portfolio to maximize profits.

Representative Thomas P. Murt, Ed.D.
152nd District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

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