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Arkansas lottery official says overhaul of games boosts money available for scholarships

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LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — The director of Arkansas' lottery says cutbacks from an overhaul of the games will increase the amount of money available for college scholarships next year, but said its revenue is behind expectations so far this year.

PHOTO: A gas station employee reaches for a lottery ticket in Little Rock, Ark., Thursday, May 14, 2015. On Thursday, a legislative committee overseeing the Arkansas lottery meets for the first time since the independent commission running the games was abolished. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
A gas station employee reaches for a lottery ticket in Little Rock, Ark., Thursday, May 14, 2015. On Thursday, a legislative committee overseeing the Arkansas lottery meets for the first time since the independent commission running the games was abolished. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

Lottery Director Bishop Woosley told a legislative panel on Thursday he expects net proceeds for the games to increase by $1.4 million in the coming fiscal year, which begins July 1. The gain comes primarily from cuts to the lottery program, including the closing of three claims centers and positions that were eliminated.

The lottery is projecting a drop in sales of draw games tickets such as Powerball and Mega Millions and a slight increase in scratch-off ticket sales.

The panel's meeting was its first since lawmakers eliminated the independent commission running the games.

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