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Wyoming lottery predicts more than $200,000 in first full year


CASPER, Wyoming — WyoLotto officials expect to end up with about $201,000 in net income at the end of the lottery's first full year.

Some $16 million in prize payouts will eat up the bulk of the $27 million in sales. Commissions to vendors will cost another $1.6 million.

Lottery officials also plan $2 million in marketing, $90,000 in legal fees and $1 million in personnel salaries and benefits. Also, the Wyoming Lottery expects to pay back $1.2 million in loans to cover the cost of launching the lottery last year.

The revenues, minus costs and expenses, should leave $200,957 in net income when the current fiscal year ends June 30, 2016, according to projections.

One state lawmaker questioned whether the lottery, even after loans are paid back, is worthwhile, the Casper Star-Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1VD8t94 ).

"This isn't going to mean a lot of money for the state of Wyoming," said Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander. "It seems like a lot of trouble for what we get out of it."

The lottery is unlikely to grow enough to substantially increase profits, said Case, who is an economist.

Lottery board Chairman Mark Macy said he was proud of the lottery's initial growth. Profits and growth will increase over time, he said.

"Our budget does reflect start-up costs that we will not have in later budgets," he said in an email sent by lottery Chief Operations Officer Louise Plata. "We are a new entity, which already turns a net profit. Our net profits will increase."

Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com

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