Rep. Kerkman: Lottery audit shows areas for improvement

State Rep. Samantha Kerkman /Contributed photo

State Rep. Samantha Kerkman /Contributed photo

The state legislature’s Joint Audit Committee, co-chaired by state Rep. Samantha Kerkman, Tuesday released its annual audit report on the Wisconsin Lottery.

The committee’s statement on the audit said:

The report contains both a program evaluation and a financial audit of the Lottery, whose revenues are used exclusively for property tax relief in Wisconsin. In FY 2011-2012, the Lottery generated $547.6 million in sales and from FY 2007-2008 to FY 2011-2012 proceeds provided $700.8 million in property tax relief. The Wisconsin Lottery offers a variety of games, some of which carry the name of a copyrighted or trademarked property for which the Lottery must pay license fees. From FY 2007-08 to FY 2009-10, license fees of $710,900 were paid for eight games introduced. LAB’s audit showed that six of eight games for which the Wisconsin Lottery paid the license fees generated less sales revenue than games for which no fee was paid. The purpose of the lottery is to maximize revenue for property tax relief, and this finding calls into question whether offering the trademarked games is worth the money spent on license fees. “This audit report highlights that diligent monitoring of lottery procedures is necessary,” said Representative Kerkman (R-Randall). “I am confident that minor adjustments can be made in game management to ensure that the lottery maximizes revenues, which provides property tax relief that Wisconsinites rely on.” The report also found that the Wisconsin Lottery exceeded its statutorily-set limit on payments to retail outlets that sell its products. Statutes say that no more than 1% of sales revenue may be paid to outlets as compensation for selling Lottery products, however the Audit Bureau found that the Wisconsin Lottery exceeded that amount in FY 2011-2012 by $54,800. Lottery officials attribute the overpayment to administrative and procedural errors. “Even though there are some areas for slight improvements, I am pleased to hear that the Wisconsin Lottery has helped provide nearly three quarters of a billion dollars in property tax relief for so many Wisconsin families.” Senator Cowles (R-Green Bay) Copies of LAB’s report (report 13-11) may be obtained from its website at www.legis.wisconsin.gov/lab or by calling (608) 266-2818.

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