Lottery comes up short

Lottery comes up short

Oregon Lottery sales are down 10 percent in the 2009 fiscal year from 2008. The recession and a smoking ban in bars and taverns have had the biggest effects on the lottery's income.

"We had been expecting a decline in playing due to the smoking ban," said Oregon Lottery spokesman Chuck Baumann. "We weren't expecting the economy to slide in October and November ... . It started to slide for everyone and we were right there with them."

This year was the first since 1999 that the Oregon Lottery has not seen an increase in sales. Video gaming, Baumann said, does the "heavy lifting" of lottery sales; of the $1.1 billion, 786 million came from video and $315 million came from other games such as Keno and Scratch-its.

And videos gaming was also hardest hit by the smoking ban. Players are a lot less likely to stay and play if they have to leave their machines and any accumulated credits to go for a smoke.

Read the full story at the East Oregonian.