State Representative
Bob Ness

509 State Office Building, 100 Constitution Ave., St. Paul, MN 55155 (651) 296- 4344

For Immediate ReleaseFor more information contact:
February 28, 2002Jason Wenisch (651-296-2317)

ST. PAUL -- Gross sales of lottery gambling in District 20A increased slightly in 2001, according to figures compiled by the Minnesota State Lottery. District 20A includes portions of McLeod, Meeker and Wright counties.

"Its amazing that over $21 million was wagered in District 20A last year. Gambling activity in our district continues to rise," said Representative Bob Ness (R-Dassel). "Many people wonder how that gambling money is used, and I believe that is an important question to answer."

LOTTERY - $3.5 Million

In District 20A during fiscal year 2001, July 1, 2000 to June 30, 2001, state lottery gambling generated gross sales of $3.5 million. Of these sales, $2.9 million represents Scratch tickets while Online Games accounted for $834,827. District 20A has 40 lottery retailers who earned a total of $242,279 in commissions and incentives as a result of those sales. "It always amazes me how much money is spent on the lottery, which consists of scratch-off tickets and on-line sales," Ness commented.


Lottery totals do not include charitable gaming (pull-tabs), raffles, tip- boards, paddle wheels, or bingo. $1.34 billion was spent on charitable gaming in Minnesota last year, $19 million in District 20A.

TRIBAL GAMING - $4 Billion

Tribal gaming generates nearly $4 billion in the state of Minnesota. "When you add the charitable gaming money and all the money spent at tribal casinos, it makes you wonder if people are trying to win something or if people just have extra money to spend," Ness said.


Illegal gambling is estimated to be in excess of $2 billion a year in Minnesota. Organized,


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for-profit sports betting is the most common form of illegal gambling, with illegal lotteries and black market pull-tabs among the other forms of illegal gambling present in the state. "Gambling continues to rise in Minnesota every year," Ness said.

While he remains concerned about the ever-rising increase in gambling activity, Ness pointed out that the Lottery continues to be a major source of funds for the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as well as the state General Fund. Here's how gambling proceeds from

District 20A were distributed:

$42,626 went to Meeker County Conservation Reserve Easements and Easement Acquisition on Restored Wetlands programs, and the Local Initiatives Grants Program $162,580 went to McLoed County, and was used on Environmental Action Grants for Minnesota Schools, State Trail Rehabilitation and Acquisition, Critical Habitat Match Acquisition and Enhancement, and sealing abandoned wells. The Minnesota River Implementation Project and Minnesota River Basin Water Quality Monitoring projects also received contributions, but the Lottery was unable to estimate a dollar amount.

The state receives 22 % of Lottery gross revenue. Of those net proceeds, 60% is allocated to the state General Fund. The Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund receives 40%.

Of the remaining 78% in Lottery gross revenue, 60 % is paid out in prizes to players; 12% goes toward operating costs, compliance checks, and advertising; and 6% provides incentives and commissions to retailers.

In District 20A:

$228,734 went to the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. $369,900 went to the General Fund. Programs which receive funding from the General Fund include public safety, education, local government aid, and health and human services.

Statewide, sales in Fiscal Year 2001 totaled $366 million, a 7.8 percent decrease over Fiscal Year 2000.

Ness noted it was important to remember that money spent on State Lottery games is only a fraction of the amount Minnesotans spend on other forms of gambling like charitable gaming, bingo, and Tribal casinos. When these types of gambling are included, the total amount spent yearly by Minnesotans easily exceeds several billion dollars.

The following is a table identifying the amount of money spent in Fiscal Year 2001 on Lottery games in District 20A:


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City Total Sales Scratch Sales Online Sales Prize Redemptions Retailer Commissions & Incentives Money to Env.Trust Fund Money to General Fund Dassel $228,308 $173,983 $54,325 $118,531 $14,208 $13,835 $22,374 Eden Valley $171,317 $138,539 $32,778 $96,743 $11,730 $10,382 $16,789 Darwin $65,470 $55,158 $10,312 $36,498 $4,525 $3,967 $6,416 Litchfield $913,045 $735,449 $177,596 $486,602 $60,210 $55,330 $89,478 Watkins $202,155 $161,830 $40,325 $108,549 $13,654 $12,251 $19,811

Hutchinson $1,699,047 $1,314,212

$384,835 $887,874 $107,750 $102,962 $166,507 Glencoe $560,627 $415,659 $144,968 $287,951 $34,727 $33,974 $54,941 Total for District 20A $3,637,814 $2,994,845 $845,139 $1,986,250 $246,804 $232,701 $376,316 Total for

Meeke r County (1) $1,580,295 $1,264,959 $315,336 $846,923 $104,327 $95,765 $154,868 Total for McLoed County (2) $2,259,674 $1,729,871 $529,803 $1,175,825 $142,477 $136,936 $221,448 (1) The Meeker County totals listed above do not include Cosmos or Grove City totals, because they are not located in District 20A.

(2) The McLoed County totals listed above do not include Brownton, Lester Prairie, Plato, Silver Lake, or Winsted totals, because they are not located in District 20A.

"Gambling addiction is a growing problem, and it concerns me. It is impossible to calculate the monetary and social costs of gambling, but I know it is significant and has caused a lot of problems for families and even marriages," Ness said.

For information on gambling addiction, call the National Council on Problem Gambling hotline at 1-800-522-4700.