Delaware gaming revenue rebounds after COVID-19 lockdowns | Delaware
(The Center Square) — Delaware lottery gaming revenue has surged after the heaviest lockdowns of the pandemic were lifted, recent analysis reveals.
In response to a query from The Center Square, Helene Keeley, acting director of the Delaware Lottery, said the operation’s revenue for fiscal year 2022 was $825.31 million, based on unaudited figures.
The figure contrasts sharply with audited revenues from recent years.
Keeley, who took over from longtime director Vernon Kirk when he retired on July 31, said the state lottery generated $787.71 million in revenue in fiscal 2019 and fell to $641 million. $.99 million in 2020 as the pandemic began to take hold. In 2021, revenues have risen to $770.65 million.
While the next FY2022 audit – due to be released later this year – will shed more light on the rise in gaming revenue over the past year, several reasons have been attributed to its rise, including the growth of online gaming platforms.
Since its inception nearly half a century ago, the Delaware Lottery has injected revenue into the state budget for various purposes.
In her complete annual financial reportcovering fiscal years 2020 and 2021, state auditor Kathleen McGuiness discussed the correlation between the lottery and funding for state programs.
“Unlike many other state lotteries, Delaware Lottery revenue is not earmarked for a specific cause or group,” McGuiness wrote. “Instead, the lottery generates revenue for the state’s general fund.”
Speaking about the general fund’s purpose, McGuiness said it functions as “a pool of money that funds a variety of public services, such as educating young people, protecting neighborhoods from crime, and pollution, maintenance of parks and beaches and health care for families and the elderly.
McGuiness in his analysis added, “In this way, the Delaware Lottery helps pay for services that would otherwise require additional taxes.”
However, the general fund is only one element of the revenue picture. According to Delaware Lottery data, 50% of total gaming revenue goes to prizes. The general fund is the second recipient with 30% of revenue.
The Delaware Lottery most recent audit report from independent firm Clifton, Larson, Allen LLP looked at the comparative fluctuations between fiscal years 2020 and 2021.
“Price liability increased by $1.1 million in 2021 compared to 2020,” the auditors wrote in their analysis.
“The increase in sports betting has a direct correlation with the increase in prices. Prize liability decreased by $1.8 million in fiscal 2020 compared to fiscal 2019 due to the sports lottery shutdown during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 for COVID- 19.
The Delaware Lottery was established in 1975 and over the years has grown and evolved.
In a 2020 press release touting the 45th anniversary, Kirk said the organization has helped strengthen Delaware’s economy.
“Since 1975, we’ve supported state services that help Delaware thrive, and to date the Delaware Lottery has generated more than $5.6 billion in revenue for the State General Fund,” Kirk said. in the 2020 statement while still serving as director.