By Leslie Bonilla Muniz
Indiana Capital Chornicle
For The Republic

The Hoosier Lottery projects it will send more than $368 million in surplus revenue to the state of Indiana, an increase from last year, according to presentations given at a Wednesday meeting.

That’s 10%, or $32 million, more than the lottery originally budgeted to deliver.

“(Fiscal year) 2024 was another outstanding year in performance and operation. It showed us that we remain healthy and that the Hoosier Lottery continues to be well positioned for success,” said Donald Redic, who spoke on behalf of the lottery’s contract operator, IGT Indiana. The company handles product development, marketing, sales and distribution services.

The lottery expects to have earned an eye-popping $1.7 billion in revenue by July, which marks the end of its fiscal year. It will have paid out $1.1 billion in prize expenses by then, according to the preliminary and unaudited data.

And, because the lottery surpassed its financial goals, it’s expected to pay IGT Indiana an incentive payment of $20 million. If it had come up short, the performance-based contract would have required the operator to hand over a shortfall payment.

 Indiana Lottery Commission Operations Director Flora Jones explains a game while External Affairs Director Jared Bond (left) and Legal Affairs and Compliance Director Chuck Taylor look on. The commission met Wednesday, May 22, 2024. (Leslie Bonilla Muniz/Indiana Capital Chronicle) 

“Our commitment remains the same: to maximize revenue for the state of Indiana in a socially responsible manner,” Redic said. He is IGT Indiana’s chief operating officer and general manager.

In its business plan for the upcoming fiscal year, IGT Indiana pitched a $1.692 billion sales goal, slightly lower than 2024’s $1.697 billion goal.

“Over the past six years, we have experienced 36% growth. We recognize the challenge to the industry that the industry is facing to sustain this growth,” Redic said. “But our focus remains on continuous optimization across the entire portfolio.

That included a 1% increase in the revenue goal for scratch-offs, the lottery’s largest revenue source. But sales have flattened.

“We have seen a more national change with scratch sales — softening a little bit — but we usually bounce back pretty quickly,” the lottery’s Executive Director Sarah Taylor told reporters. “So we hope to have that happen, and that’s why we’re planning the way we are for this coming fiscal year.”

She and Redic said the lottery would add more higher-priced games to reflect player preferences, keep using licensed properties consumers know and love in games and continue exploring special printing with neon colors, foils and more.

To avoid paying the lottery a shortfall in the next fiscal year, IGT Indiana must ensure the lottery nets at least $322 million for the state. To earn a bonus, the lottery must net at least $342 million.

Surplus money returned to the state goes toward retirement and pension funds for police, firefighters and teachers, as well as to lower the motor vehicle excise tax by as much as 50%.