New Jersey lowers 2015 lottery revenue projections
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- Two years after Gov. Chris Christie privatized the state's lottery, New Jersey's treasurer is lowering revenue projections for fiscal year that ends June 30.
Andrew Sidamo-Eristoff did not say specifically how much the expected revenue dropped on Monday during an Assembly budget hearing but attributed the decrease to industry-wide trends.
State documents show that initial revenue forecasts projected $1.037 billion in revenue for the current fiscal year, but Christie's 2016 proposal reflected lower receipts at $955 million.
The falling projections reflect a drop in actual receipts. In 2013, the lottery earned $1.09 billion while in 2014 it brought in $965 million.
Sidamon-Eristoff said the lottery, which Christie privatized in 2013, is facing increasing competition from other games and that there are demographic shifts affecting customers' behavior.
He also said the first seven months of 2015 saw an unusual decline in large jackpots and what he called "jackpot fatigue" -- what the industry calls it when it seems to take larger payouts to attract more casual players.
He said the changed forecast does not have to do with specific challenges facing the state's lotto.
Lawmakers did not ask the treasurer about the lottery, though Sidamon-Eristoff said he expects to discuss it in greater detail during hearings later this year.
Proceeds from the lottery go toward education, the state's Department of Human Services as well as the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.