La Fleur’s Magazine surveys the U.S. and Canadian lotteries for their 13-week “quarterly” sales for the current as well as previous calendar year for all product categories—traditional and non-traditional games.

In first quarter 2020 (ended March 31), U.S. lotteries’ total traditional sales decreased 3% to $19.8 billion from $20.4 billion. Internet revenues grew 47% while eInstant revenues climbed 50%.

Among U.S. lotteries, Florida ranked number 1 in 1Q20 total traditional sales ($1.95 billion). Massachusetts ranked number 1 in 1Q20 total traditional per capita sales ($196). And Oklahoma ranked number 1 in percentage increase in 1Q20 total draw sales (10%). Thirty-five of the 44 reporting U.S. lotteries reported a decline in 1Q20 total traditional sales (ranging from -0.4% to -25%).

It will not be surprising that those U.S. lotteries which operate fast draw keno and monitor games often saw the biggest drop by category, particularly if bars and taverns were a key retail outlet.

Non-traditional revenues plummeted on an industrywide basis as U.S. lotteries turned off video lottery terminal (VLT) networks and closed casinos in states with stay-in-home orders.

Total VLT net machine income decreased 15% to $1.45 billion in 1Q20 from $1.71 billion in 1Q19.

Total table games gross gaming revenues (GGR) fell 22% to $261.8 million in 1Q20 from $335.6 million.

Total sports betting revenues increased 126% to $73.7 million in 1Q20 from $32.6 million in 1Q19 but this was the result of Oregon Lottery reporting 1Q20 revenue for Scoreboard.

The impact of the pandemic as measured by impact on lottery sales varied greatly accross the country—depending on the product portfolio and geographical locations.

Category Performance

Draw sales decreased 11% to $6.6 billion for U.S. lotteries in 1Q20 compared to $7.5 billion in 1Q19.

New York ranked number 1 in 1Q20 total terminal sales ($847.6 million). Massachusetts ranked number 1 in 1Q20 total terminal per capita sales ($61). And Kentucky ranked number 1 in percentage increase in 1Q20 total terminal sales (1%). Forty-one of the 44 reporting U.S. lotteries reported a decline in 1Q20 terminal sales (ranging from -2% to -30%).
Florida ranked number 1 in 1Q20 total instant sales ($1.48 billion). Massachusetts ranked number 1 in total 1Q20 instant per capita sales ($135). Ten U.S. lotteries reported a decline in 1Q20 instant sales.

The Oklahoma Lottery led the nation with a 36% increase in total scratcher sales in 1Q20. “Past three weeks [in May] instant sales averaging over $8m per week,” said Jay Finks, Deputy Director, Oklahoma Lottery. “Our $20 ticket doing about $2m per week; 7-Eleven doing about $1m per week. In the 37 weeks pre COVID: $109m in instant sales. In the nine weeks of COVID: $53m in instant sales. And somehow through all of this I just got a bill passed allowing us to accept ALL forms of payment (including credit cards). The governor signed the bill.”

Canadian 1Q20 Results

In first quarter 2020 (ended March 31), Canadian lotteries’ total traditional sales increased 17% to C$2.6 billion from $2.4 billion. But net machine income from the provinces’ video lottery terminal (VLT) networks fell 17% to C$260.1 million from C$312.9 million as lotteries stopped operating the devices in March.

Similarly, sports pools hit a wall with all sports games cancelled as a result of the pandemic. Sales decreased 21% to C$121.8 million in 1Q20 from C$154.6 million in 1Q19. By lottery, the declines were: ALC (-13.6%), BCLC (23.1%), Loto-Québec (-13.9%), OLG (-22.8%) and WCLC (-26%).

OLG ranked number 1 in 1Q20 total traditional sales (C$1.1 billion). Atlantic Lottery ranked number 1 in 1Q20 total traditional per capita sales (C$85). And WCLC ranked number 1 in percentage increase in 1Q20 total traditional sales (26%).

Terminal (draw) sales were strong, increasing 24% to C$1.9 billion in 1Q20 from C$1.5 billion in 1Q19. Canadian lotteries sell three bloc lottos (LottoMax, Lotto649 and Daily Grand) as well as provincial lottos, numbers (Pick), keno, sports pools and quick ticket games.

OLG ranked number 1 in total 1Q20 terminal sales (C$743.2 million). BCLC ranked number 1 in 1Q20 total terminal per capita sales (C$67). And ALC ranked number 1 in percentage increase in 1Q20 total terminal sales (38%).

Among traditional games, LottoMax was the star performer with a whopping 110% increase in sales to C$784.1 million in 1Q20 vs. C$373.9 million in 1Q19. The demand for the product resulted in Canadian lotteries’ internet sales surging, according to marketers.

There was a corresponding 17% decline in Lotto649 sales, with sales dropping to C$308.7 million in 1Q20 from C$373.6 million in 1Q19. Sales for other lottos (which include provincial lottos and Daily Grand) grew 1%.

Jackpot chasers also helped swell spiel sales (also known as “Tag” (ALC), Extra (BCLC, Loto-Québec and WCLC) and Encore (OLG). Categorywide, spiel sales increased 25% to C$188.7 million in 1Q20 from C$151.3 million in 1Q19.

Keno sales fell 5% to C$144.7 million.

Scratcher sales took a slight hit with sales falling 1% to C$627.3 million in 1Q20 from C$632.2 million in 1Q19. Pulltab sales decreased 18% to C$27.4 million.
OLG ranked number 1 in total 1Q20 instant sales (C$338.6 million). ALC ranked number 1 in total 1Q20 instant per capita sales (C$24). And OLG ranked number 1 in percentage increase in 1Q20 instant sales (2%). Three of the five Canadian lotteries reported a decline in 1Q20 instant sales.