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Lottery Commission OKs lowered budget with no monitor games

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was published August 20, 2014 at 12:20 p.m.

The Arkansas Lottery Commission voted Wednesday in favor of a new, lowered budget for the current fiscal year that removes monitor game proceeds from the equation, reducing the amount projected for scholarships by about $3 million.

Over the objections of the Legislature’s lottery oversight committee, the commission voted in April to pursue the electronic quick-draw games, but legislators in a special session last month passed a measure that bars their implementation at least until next March.

The lottery in May approved a fiscal 2015 budget calling for revenue of about $429.3 million and $81.2 million for college scholarships.

On Wednesday, lottery Director Bishop Woosley presented an updated budget that removed monitor games from the mix. The new version, approved unanimously by the commission and expected to be presented at the oversight committee's next meeting, brings total revenue down to $416.8 million and reduces the amount for scholarships by about $3 million to nearly $78.2 million.

Woosley said during the meeting that it's unclear what will happen with monitor games.

"It's unknown if that will be brought up or even be an issue in the next session," he said. "And so we had to revise our budget based on that game not being available. ... We thought the best approach was to just pull that money out and hopefully underpromise and overperform."

Read more about this story in Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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