The Lottery Commission of the state of Ohio had a good year in 2009, selling a total of $2.42 billion worth of tickets to games like Pick 3 and Mega Millions. The commission said on July 21st, 2009 at its monthly meeting that sales were up by $91 million, making 2009 its best year. Its fiscal year ended June 30th. The commission contributed $702 million to Ohio's education fund, the 4th biggest transfer on record.
The improvement in sales was largely because of keno, which produced a total of $100 million in sales. But keno sales were a disappointment, coming in below the projected $292 million sales. Lottery staff blamed the low sales on the difficulty of signing up keno retailers, like bars and restaurants, which are reluctant to assign staff to process keno tickets during peak hours.
The lottery commission hoped to have two thousand lottery retailers but only has 1,300 retailers. Director Dolan stated that the lottery is offering a self-serve keno machine in pubs and restaurants that he predicted will improve retailer interest. Dolan added that they are currently talking with Intralot, the new group that manages the lottery's online or drawing games, to manage the software operations of the video slots.
The Ohio Lottery Commission is making policies for how the slot machines will be operated at the racing tracks and making licensing agreements between the lottery and the racing tracks. Director Michael Dolan said that lottery cannot request proposals for bid on supplying the video terminals until these and other policy-related issues are solved.
But he said that he plans making a deal with 4 to 5 slot machine makers and hiring a firm to evaluate the machines. Dolan added that he wants to appoint staff to manage the video slot machines for the lottery commission.