As reported by iGB, year-on-year decline in revenue and net profit for the 2020 fiscal year has been posted by the Massachusetts State Lottery, with COVID-19 being cited by the organisation as a main contributing factor.

The lottery revealed that March, April and May experienced high levels of sales impacts due to the ongoing pandemic with sales in those particular months seeing the organisation register $244.6m less than the corresponding period last year.

As a result, revenue for the 12 months to June 30 2020 saw the lottery record $5.25bn, a 4.7% decrease from its 2019 period which generated $5.51bn. 

More encouragingly, the lottery operator did note that it had high levels of sales in the months prior to the COVID-19 outbreak in the US as well as in June, thus coinciding with the reopening of establishments across the state. 

Michael Sweeney, Massachusetts Lottery executive director, was quoted: “From the early stages of the pandemic, the Lottery has been committed to operating within the guidelines recommended by state and federal officials, taking significant measures to create a safe environment for Lottery team members and the public.

“More important than setting records across the board last year, we faced significant operational challenges and overcame them.”

Instant ticket sales for the 2020 fiscal year totalled $3.65bn, down 0.74% from record sales of $3.67bn in fiscal year 2019, with draw-based games such as Mega Millions (down 50.9%) and Powerball (down 47.1%) also seeing a combined downturn in sales of roughly $141m year-on-year. 

Commission Treasurer, Deb Goldberg, stated in the report: “Our top priority during these unprecedented times has been the health and well-being of our employees and customers.

“I am grateful for our loyal customers and proud of the work the Lottery team and dedicated retail partners have done to adjust operations in order to continue to generate essential local aid. At a time when we face mounting challenges, these resources are even more critical for our cities and towns.”