The Minnesota Lottery is expected to send a record amount of money to the state this year, executive director Ed Van Petten said Monday, although that may represent a high-water mark.
The $135.3 million generated through ticket sales in the 2015 fiscal year bests the previous record by about $220,000. The lottery sold about $547 million in tickets, up from the $532 million in 2014.
Van Petten said it's unlikely the Lottery can top those numbers next year, due to the a ban on ticket sales through the Internet, gas pumps and ATMs. That move followed an outcry from legislators that the lottery conducted those sales without specific authority in state statutes. The ban will go into effect in September.
Around 60 percent of revenue is paid in prizes and retailer commissions. The rest is split between lottery operations, the state's general fund, and some environmental funds.
Only about 1 percent of ticket sales came online, but Van Petten attributed the record year to being able to use the web as a marketing tool. He credited the Internet for boosting scratch game sales by $25 million.
"To be relevant in today's age, you have to have a presence on the Internet," Van Petten said. He said the lottery will try other measures to make up for the lost income.
Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston, chair of the House tax committee, said he will not support any attempt to expand gambling.
"If [the lottery] is having a good year, I guess it means less money for people to buy groceries, diapers and pay for medical bills," Davids said.