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PENNSYLVANIA LOTTERY BETTING ON GROWTH SUBSCRIPTIONS, TV SHOW BEING CONSIDERED

By Published on .

The Pennsylvania Lottery, expecting flat to declining growth through the end of the decade, is considering new marketing strategies, including a subscription lottery and a TV show.

A June report by the Legislature's Joint Budget & Finance Committee showed ticket sales for the year ended June 30 rose about 8% to $1.6 billion. However, a decline of 0.9% is forecast for fiscal 1995, followed by four years of less than 1% annual growth.

Profits from the Lottery, which the report described as "mature," are declining and expected to level off at about $575 million in fiscal 1999.

Proceeds go to programs benefiting the elderly. The 1990 Census found 20% of the state's population is 60 or older, putting Pennsylvania second only to Florida in the percentage of elderly.

The Lottery began operation in 1972 and funded programs of about $600 million in fiscal 1993. Thirty-six states have lotteries, and Pennsylvania's ranked eighth in sales of $4.72 billion.

Overall, lotteries last year, including start-ups in Georgia and Nebraska, showed an 11% growth in revenue, said Paul Dworin, publisher-editor, Gaming & Wagering Business, New York.

"Pennsylvania is a mature state. It's an early lottery. It has been run very well and has always been successful. But you can't extract more dollars out of the marketplace unless you introduce new games," Mr. Dworin said.

The state report recommends considering new products and approaches, like introducing a video lottery and keno, subscription plans, direct marketing programs, a telephone lottery and selling ad space on the back of tickets.

A subscription lottery is already under consideration, said Mark Schreiber, Lottery public relations director.

Nine states, including Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Virginia, use some form of subscription sales, although that accounts for just 1% to 4% of total sales, the report concluded.

FCB/Tierney, Philadelphia, which handles the Lottery's $16 million account, is studying the plan and investigating the possibility of a 30-minute weekly TV show. States that already have TV game shows with a lottery format include California, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.

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