any debate over the possible arrival of casinos in Massachusetts (see “Ka-ching”) has to take into account how much we already rely on the state lottery, and whether scratch ticket sales will suffer against a rival outlet for gambling. In FY 2008, according to the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, the Bay State had lottery sales of $4.7 billion (exceeded only by Florida and New York), resulting in a profit — after prizes are paid out — of $913 million, or a little less than 2 percent of total state revenue. This comes out to $140 for every person living in the state.
According to 2006 Census data (the latest to compare state revenue from all kinds of gaming), New Jersey made more of a profit from its state lottery than from its prominent Atlantic City casinos. But while Connecticut took in more money from its lottery ($916 million) than from its taxes on casinos ($458 million), when you take out the $587 million paid out in lottery prizes, the casinos turned out to be more profitable.