DES MOINES – As good as the Iowa Lottery’s year was in fiscal 2013, sales in the first two months of the current year that started July 1 have been even better.
The lottery posted a record year with sales topping $339 million and transferred profits of nearly $84.9 million to the state treasury when the 2013 fiscal year ended June 30.
Since then, lottery CEO Terry Rich said the state’s gambling enterprise has produced sales totals in July and August that are nearly 20 percent ahead of last year and proceeds that are up 30 percent for the first two months – numbers that do not include the sales frenzy in September triggered by an estimated $400 million Powerball jackpot won via a ticket sold in South Carolina.
“Our task right now is to manage expectations,” Rich said. “Whenever you have a really good year, people like to compare against that year. We always want to beat the previous year, but we don’t want to over-promise. I always would rather over-deliver than over-promise.”
On Tuesday, the Iowa Lottery Board approved a fiscal 2015 budget proposal that projects sales of $295.5 million, expenses totaling $233.3 million and proceeds to the state treasury of $62.7 million. That compared to the current budget projections in fiscal 2014 of $293 million in sales, expenses totaling $231 million and proceeds of nearly $62.3 million.
In other topics at Tuesday’s board meeting, Rich said Friday marks the deadline for bidders to submit proposals for the lottery’s acquisition/relocation project for its headquarters. The lottery currently is housed at a Grand Avenue location in Des Moines that is near the end of its usefulness without significant upgrading, officials said.
The 47,000-square-foot lottery headquarters, built in 1954, has multiple problems that could cost the lottery $1 million a day if they interrupt the enterprise’s operations, Rich said.
Over the next two months, lottery officials in conjunction with a state Department of Administrative Services real estate team will tour and analyze all viable sites with the intention of paring the selection to four to six properties to be considered with an eye on a final choice being made by year’s end, he added.
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