The state's audit bureau is recommending that the Wisconsin Lottery stop offering scratch-off games which involve license fees - such as paying the Green Bay Packers - because most of the time non-licensed games outperform them.
However, the newest Packers-themed lottery tickets go on sale Friday.
The report issued Tuesday shows that lottery sales increased from $494.7 million in fiscal 2007-08, to $547.6 million in fiscal 2011-12. The addition of the MegaMillions game, and increase in the price of a Powerball ticket to $2 fueled much of the growth.
In its analysis, the Legislative Audit Bureau examined the performance of games which require licensing fees to trademark or copyright holders. These have included Pac-Man, Tetris, Monopoly, Deal or No Deal, Space Invaders, Scrabble, Pink Panther and the Green Bay Packers.
"Six of eight instant games for which the Wisconsin Lottery paid a license fee generated less net sales revenue than the average net sales revenue generated by games that sold for the same price during the same fiscal year but for which no license fee was paid. Based on our analysis of instant game sales and costs, we question whether the additional expenses associated with trademarked or copyrighted properties maximized net... We recommend the Wisconsin Lottery consider discontinuing the introduction of instant games for which it must pay license fees in order to maximize available revenue for property tax relief revenue from instant game sales," the report states.
According to the report, the lottery paid the Green Bay Packers $260,000 for use of the name and logo for a $10 instant game. The net sales revenue - which is the amount of revenue remaining after expenses including production costs, prize expenses and license fees - for the Packers game was $2,059,900. That's $40,800 less than the average net sales revenue for non-licensed $10 games.
Wisconsin Lottery officials believe that the licensed games are worthwhile, however, the audit states:
"Wisconsin Lottery officials assert that the sale of licensed games results in ticket sales among individuals who would not otherwise purchase lottery tickets and that the sale of licensed games may actually increase overall ticket sales. For example, they believe that offering tickets involving a professional sports team encourages ticket purchases among sports fans who would not otherwise purchase lottery tickets. However, they were unable to provide data to support this assertion. In addition, they indicated that they conducted an analysis showing total lottery sales during weeks in which a licensed game was available for purchase exceeded weeks in which no licensed game was available. Because a number of factors could account for this difference, we do not believe it is appropriate to attribute increased sales to the availability of a licensed game."
The only licensed games to outperform their non-licensed counterparts were Monopoly and Pink Panther-themed games.
According to the Wisconsin Lottery's website , tickets for the newest Packers-themed games go on sale Friday. There will $1, $3 and $5 tickets. All non-winning 2013 Packers instant scratch tickets are eligible for a bonus drawing which includes several prizes:
- A set of two club season tickets to all Green Bay Packers home games for five years
- A 2014 suite package
- Packers Pro Shop gift cards
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