On March 2nd, 2009, a slight drop in revenue by the Michigan Lottery has been felt from bars to classrooms. Andi Brancato, the director of public relations for the Michigan Lottery said that this can be attributed to the weak economy. People have less amount of cash to spend on gaming. He added that in the scheme of things, it is not a big drop. It is quite consistent with the result of the lotteries across the country.
All of the profits of the lottery from the games go directly to the state's school aid fund. In 2008, the Michigan Lottery contributed a total of $740.7 million to state schools-about 5.72 percent of the school aid fund. That was down from $748.9 million in 2007. The superintendent of Algonac Community Schools, Michael Sharrow, said that it is difficult to cushion any impact in school funding during tough financial times.
Sharrow said that while the lottery funding is a small portion of the funding pie, every part counts at a time when districts are cutting budgets and shutting down buildings. Sharrow said that additional revenue is very scarce right now. Some lottery tickets distributors are also feeling the effect of players cutting down on their spending money. Jerrod Abro, who works at the River District Supermarket in Port Hurron, said that like the economy, everyone is cutting back on their spending.
Mike Abro said it really helps that his store sells more than lottery tickets. Norm Krol, the proprietor of the Office Lounge in Port Huron Township, said that he saw a drop in keno profits and lottery even before the beginning of the New Year. But one local establishment has seen an increase in their gaming customers. Jen Ousley, the manager of the Military Street Music Cafe in Port Huron, which offers keno games said that their numbers are the highest the she has ever seen. She did not stated specific numbers for the amount of cash spent or the number of games played.
John M. Thorpe