Red News Readers,
This makes the privatisation of the Lotteries completely loopy!! Why would the State Government give this revenue to the private sector?
NSW gambling's record lotteries profits
By Linda Silmalis
From: The Sunday Telegraph January 31, 2010
NSW residents tried to gamble their way out of the global financial crisis, producing record profits for the soon-to-be-privatised NSW Lotteries.
State Government figures show a record $1327.62 million worth of Lotto, Powerball, Scratchie, Oz Lotto and Lottery tickets were sold last financial year - $100 million more than in previous years.
Despite the volume of sales, however, fewer punters became millionaires than in previous years - 63 punters last year, down from 69 in 2008.
The total prize money given out also declined, from $754.42 million in 2007-08 to $738.06 million in 08-09.
NSW Lotteries chief executive officer Nick Nichles said sales during the economic downturn exceeded all expectations. NSW Lotteries, which the State Government plans to sell this year, had cautioned that sales records set in 2008 were not expected to be repeated for many years, but the corporation made $19 million more than it had anticipated last year.
"Happily, we did it all over again in 2009, only on an even bigger scale," Mr Nichles said.
He said the sales target had been $1160 million. Mr Nichles had received a $30,500 performance bonus as part of his $216,208 remuneration package for the result.
The biggest winner was the State Government, which reaped record revenue from the sales frenzy.
The figures show NSW Treasury collected $402.4 million in taxes and duty, up $41 million from last year.
Punters also bet on the races in record amounts last year, with NSW TAB turnover to exceed all records.
Racing industry sources indicated if current levels of betting activity were sustained until the end of the 2008-09 financial year, NSW TAB turnover on thoroughbred racing was expected to exceed $5 billion for the first time.
Turnover was $4.7 billion last year.
For the first time in a decade, NSW turnover has outstripped rises in Victorian TAB betting.
The revenue windfall has triggered calls from the NSW Greens for Premier Kristina Keneally to direct the windfall to transport and health.
NSW Greens MP Lee Rhiannon said the funds should be returned to the community.
"Premier Keneally should ensure this money, which has fallen in the Government's lap like manna from heaven, is earmarked for essential services like public transport and health," she said. "The Government has picked up this multi-million-dollar revenue boost from luck, not good management.
"Now, the challenge is with the Premier to use it wisely."
A spokeswoman for NSW Treasurer Eric Roozendaal said the State Government would announce the successful tender to take over NSW Lotteries in the next few months.
"Short-listed proponents are currently performing their due-diligence process," she said.
The financial result was helped by NSW Lotteries putting some of its products online to make it easier for punters in remote and regional areas to gamble.
The corporation is planning to expand the type of bets people can make online this year.