INDIANAPOLIS | Weak Powerball sales and the utter failure of the Monopoly Millionaires Club game have put GTECH Indiana, the private operator of the Hoosier Lottery, on track to miss its 2015 income target by 15.6 percent, or $50 million.
Barring further downward revisions, lottery income provided to the state for the July 2014-June 2015 period is expected to total $270 million, including the $16 million maximum shortfall penalty GTECH must pay for coming in more than 5 percent short of target.
That lottery income total would be an all-time record for Indiana and an 8 percent year-over-year increase, but it's still well short of the $320 million the company promised to earn for the state.
"Clearly this is disappointing. We're very disappointed by it," said Colin Hadden, chief operating officer for GTECH Indiana. "The drop in the forecast is due entirely to this unprecedented and unanticipated drop in the market."
Hadden said Powerball sales have fallen off a cliff due to a lack of large jackpots. The biggest prize in months — $208 million — is up for grabs Wednesday, though Hadden said casual players tend not to pay attention until the jackpot is in the $300 million to $400 million range.
As a result, the lottery sold just $38.1 million in Powerball tickets through the first six months of the budget year, compared to $60.7 million during the same period last year, according to financial data presented Tuesday to the State Lottery Commission.
Ticket sales for Mega Millions, Hoosier Lotto and most other draw games also are down year-over-year, though scratch-off ticket sales are higher by $33 million, or 10 percent.
However, that increase barely covers the $32 million the lottery expected to take in — but won't — from Monopoly Millionaires Club, a new multistate draw game that was scuttled in December after players stayed away from its complicated "three ways to win" system and ticket sales failed to cover prize winnings.
Hadden said GTECH Indiana remains focused on growing lottery play through new games, along with improved retail displays and technology.
He said lottery players should look for the return of a $30 scratch-off game, a bacon-scented scratch game and a new instant draw game in the next few months.
"We're not just sitting back and accepting this," Hadden said.
The lottery commission can cancel GTECH Indiana's 15-year contract to operate the Hoosier Lottery if the company misses its income target by at least 10 percent two years in a row.
In 2014, the first full year under the contract, the company made a shortfall payment of $1.6 million to meet its promised income of $256 million.
Next year, GTECH Indiana is required to produce $365 million in lottery income and $410 million during the 2017 and 2018 budget years.
Indiana uses Hoosier Lottery profits to reduce vehicle excise taxes, support state and local construction projects and fund pensions for police, firefighters and teachers.