The New York State Division of Lottery has been forced to stop it’s Thursday Quick Draw bonus play and Quick Draw agents and their employees are feeling the loss. According to the Lottery Director, the Quick Draw bonus and other prize supplements had been funded through lapsed prizes (uncollected winnings). This year during the state budget process most of the lapsed prize funds were redirected from the Lottery Division to education aid. In other words, legislators wanted the money distributed to schools rather than used to supplement prizes. This fund was used to enhance many lottery games, not just Quick Draw.
Not surprisingly we’ve been receiving anecdotal reports of the impact this is having on Quick Draw agent’s lottery sales. And a loss of Quick Draw sales is followed by a loss of food & beverage sales which results in lost income for your staff. We don’t have sufficient information to estimate the losses to the industry and to the state through lost sales and income taxes, but you can be certain the losses are significant.
This is not the first time we’ve seen government cut off its nose to spite its face and it usually doesn’t work out well. State Legislators may have had good intentions in repurposing the uncollected winnings to education aid, but the ripple effects of this action make you wonder if on balance it makes sense – and did anyone think about these implications…I doubt it.
While the Lottery Division is looking at options for enhancing the game long-term, we need to deliver a clear message to legislators that this type of action is counter-productive. Please contact the State Association office to share your story about the impact of the elimination of the Quick Draw bonus and to let us know if you’re willing to participate in meetings with state legislators to help them understand the broader implication of this change.