Arizona Lottery Revenue Rises Amid National Decline, Stagnation

By Heather van Blokland
Published: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 2:21pm
(Photo via

State lottery revenue across the country has either stagnated or fallen over the last decade for most states, but not so for Arizona.

A new report says Arizona is one of the only states to show growth in revenue from the state lottery. 

A decline in discretionary income is one of the primary reasons people across the country are buying fewer lottery tickets in most states. Increased time and money spent on other forms of gaming, like tribal gaming, is another.

Arizona is one of only nine states whose revenue from lottery sales actually increased from 2004 to 2016. Since 20016, instant ticket sales have doubled for the state.

The bingo and crossword scratch off games have been very popular and drive sales in the state, said Nikki O’Shea, public information officer with the Arizona Lottery. 

“These games are more expensive in the play and so a lot of our players who do play these two games really enjoy the play of the scratcher ticket and really do buy the ticket just for fun”

A national study by Moody’s Analytics Investor Services reported people are buying fewer tickets across much of the western U.S., including Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado and New Mexico, while Arizona, Idaho and Montana are still trending up. 

O’Shea said the Arizona Lottery is continually looking for different ways to appeal to the different groups of lottery consumers.

She broke it down into what she calls the non-players, light to medium players and heavy or core players. She said the success of the Arizona lottery has been getting the light to medium players to become heavy players and then creating additional engagement opportunities with core players, who play the lottery daily.

Moody's reports lotteries don’t see new growth unless prizes drastically increase, as they did in 2012, or states introduce new games to capture additional patrons, like video lottery terminals.