According to state Treasurer Timothy Cahill, who oversees the Lottery, earlier next year, the Massachusetts State Lottery is preparing to launch a new game that would let gamblers bet on animated car races shown on Keno-style video monitors.
In December 2005, The Lottery had planned to launch a similar game that features animated horse races but backed off after the state's horse track operators complained it could draw business away from them.
Complete with sound effects, the car-racing game, according to Cahill, would be a new version of the Lottery's existing keno game in which players will try to guess randomly selected winning cars instead of trying to guess randomly selected winning numbers and watch the race play out on special video monitors.
The new Keno game is part of a broader effort at the Lottery to keep revenues growing.
The Lottery generated $4.52 billion in revenues, in fiscal 2006, which ended June 30th, about 1 percent higher than the previous year.
Lottery officials say Keno revenues fell in fiscal 2005 due to a smoking ban in restaurants, but sales increased in fiscal 2006, which accounted for $775 million, when playing hours were increased and games were played every four minutes.
Cahill said he didn't have any revenue projections yet for the car-racing game.
According to Cahill, Lottery sales overall are slowing down. "Between the Internet and Foxwoods, it's a very different industry than it was 10 years ago," he stated.
Scientific Games, the New York City Company that provides the software for the car-racing game, according to Cahill, had preferred using a horse-racing format because it thought it would have generated more excitement. "The general consensus in the industry was that horses would be more popular," He said.
Monday, November 20 , 2006