BOSTON (AP)- Massachusetts lottery profits dipped slightly in the past fiscal year, although the games still generated $952 million in unrestricted local aid to cities and towns.
State Treasurer Steven Grossman said the 2013 fiscal year profits fell short of the record $983 million collected during the 2012 fiscal year, but still amounted to the second highest annual take in the lottery's 41-year history.
Grossman, whose office oversees the lottery, said the money will help pay for local priorities - from road and bridge repairs to covering the salaries of firefighters and police officers.
While overall sales of lottery tickets were $4.8 billion, topping the prior fiscal year's record of $4.7 billion, higher payouts to players resulted in lower net profits.
Instant tickets were the lottery's most popular game, accounting for 69 percent of all revenue, followed by Keno which accounted for nearly 16 percent of revenues.
Grossman said he attributed the two strong years to strategic approaches the agency has taken including an improved portfolio of games. Most recently the lottery has introduced Jackpot Poker, a new monitor game that replaced the Daily Race Game.
The lottery faces a number of challenges including the introduction of casino gambling in Massachusetts and the expected growth on online gambling.
Grossman is pushing state lawmakers for permission to create and test what he hopes will be a first wave of Internet lottery games in Massachusetts. He has said that the threat of Internet gambling to existing state lotteries is imminent.
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