The Iowa Lottery will begin selling a $50 scratch-off game on April 4th, becoming the 15th state to offer such a high-priced game. The new $500,000 Cash scratch game will offer prizes ranging from $50 to $500,000 with lower odds of winning than the PowerBall game. Critics argue that such high-priced games disproportionately attract lower-income players and are a “regressive tax on the poor,” while lottery officials maintain that they serve all Iowans aged 21 and over and responsibly raise proceeds for state causes. Iowa Lottery spokesperson Mary Neubauer said, “A business based upon a model of serving those who cannot afford its products will not be successful for long… About 80 percent of adult Iowans play the lottery, and we therefore have always considered all Iowans 21 and older to be our audience.”
The Georgia Senate has rejected legislation, Senate Bill 57, to legalize sports betting in the state by a vote of 37-19, with opponents arguing that the move required a constitutional amendment. The bill defined sports betting as a lottery game and not as gambling, which would not require a constitutional change, according to its supporters. Proponents of the bill argued that it could inject $1.1 billion annually into Georgia’s economy and create more than 8,500 jobs, with many in rural areas of the state. The proposed constitutional amendment remains the only sports betting option still alive in the Senate.
Scientific Games has revealed its new Dimension instant scratch game products, which feature a holographic-like effect, and are set to go live with the Colorado Lottery, New Mexico Lottery and South Carolina Education Lottery later this year. The Dimension technology, produced by innovation teams at Scientific Games’ facility in Leeds, UK, produces holographic-like patterns on instant scratch games, including the popular Cracked Ice and Stella games. The company’s annual production capacity is more than 53 billion instant scratch tickets.
Ohio’s first month of legal sports betting saw $1.1 billion in wagers with most of the wagering done online. The billion-dollar month translated into $208.9 million in taxable revenue for the state and a tax bill of $20.9 million, which will fund education. The Ohio Lottery reported a bit more than $850,000 in bets placed during January at kiosks and terminals around the state.