Officials warn Oregon Lottery may be in jeopardy

Officials warn Oregon Lottery may be in jeopardy

February 16, 2017 8:34 AM

State officials in Oregon are warning the Oregon Lottery, which includes a video element offering games in many restaurants, bars and pubs, may be in jeopardy.

Oregon lottery director Barry Pack told the House Revenue Committee this week that aging players, increasing competition from tribe-operated casinos and a shrinking retail base are threatening to trim critical revenue the state budget depends on.

As part of his presentation, Pack noted that the lottery has 3,900 retailers statewide and is projected to contribute nearly $1.2 billion to the state treasury over the next two years. He reports that about half of that goes to education and the rest would pay for economic development, parks and natural resources, and gambling addiction treatment.

He said sales have begun to recover from recent setbacks but they haven't returned to pre-recession levels.

He warned that Oregon, like other states, faces problems because players are getting older and young people aren't as interested in the lottery games as the older ones. Pack believes his state may have reached gambling market saturation.