Bipartisan Panel Studies PA Lottery Fund

The Legislative Budget & Finance Committee has released the first comprehensive study of the Pennsylvania Lottery in 18-years.  The study focused on the relationship between the Lottery Fund and the programs it supports for older Pennsylvanians. 

The study points out the rapid growth that’s expected in Pennsylvania’s senior citizen population.  For instance, seniors are expected to compose 22.5% of the state’s total population by 2030.  Today, that number is 15.4%.  However, lottery sales are only slated for slight growth in the next five years – attributed almost entirely to the rise of instant games. 

The study raises no immediate concerns, but points out that if future lottery sales fall on the low end of projections, funding for services within the state Department of Aging may not be adequate.  The Lottery Fund currently supports a variety of programs, everything from the Property Tax/Rent Rebate to Area Agencies on Aging. 

The committee’s recommendations include the continued expansion of the Pennsylvania Lottery’s retail network, and a call for the General Assembly not to add anything to the list of programs already funded by lottery dollars. 

The study was conducted per the direction of HR 106, which passed the House unanimously back in June.  “I am pleased that there appears to be no immediate danger of senior citizens losing benefits,” says State Rep. Martin Causer, the resolution’s sponsor.  “However, our population is aging, and if lottery sales continue to stagnate, we could be faced with some difficult decisions in the next decade.”