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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

New Wyoming lottery could cut into Idaho Lottery’s sales next year

Wyoming’s approval of a state lottery could cut into the Idaho Lottery’s sales next year, Idaho Lottery Director Jeff Anderson warned legislative budget writers this morning, though the impact is uncertain; he’s estimating it could be as much as $3 million, or as little as $100,000. Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead signed a bill last March clearing the way for Wyoming’s lottery, which likely will start in June. “Our people aren’t going to go over there,” Anderson said. But some Utah players might, depending on where they live. Currently, 20 percent of the Idaho Lottery’s customers are Utah residents.

“We believe we’ve got strategies in place that can defend that,” Anderson said. Those include popular border retailers in Malad City and Franklin that draw big volumes of regular Utah customers. “So we’re the home of the Utah lottery, when it comes to that,” he joked. The typical Idaho Lottery retailer has about $150,000 in lottery sales a year; two stores in Malad City, Top Stop and Kwik Stop, each have between $3 million and $4 million. “Malad City doesn’t have a lot of people, but they sure sell a lot of lottery tickets,” Anderson said. Border retailers cater to Utah residents by providing “places you can sit down, have a hot dog, scratch some tickets, have a soda,” he said.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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