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$135.4 Million For Lottery Grants

In spite of a difficult environment, the New Zealand Lotteries Commission transferred its full budgeted amount of $135.4 million to the Lottery Grants Board for community distribution for the financial year ended 30 June 2000. The amount transferred consisted of earnings for the year, with the balance required to meet budget coming from the organisation’s small reserves.

The Commission paid prizes totalling $347.8 million for the year to 30 June, taxes of $65 million, and retailers’ commission of $43.7 million. Operating expenses, at $41.4 million, were nearly $2 million lower than the previous year.

In the Commission’s annual report tabled in Parliament today, chief executive Ariane Burgess said the past year had been demanding, with slowing sales for a number of major products and intensifying competition for the discretionary dollar but the organisation had learnt a great deal.

“In the coming year, we will be putting the things we have learnt into effect, with the firm intention of reversing the negative trends and successfully tackling the new challenges for our business,” Mrs Burgess said.

The Commission’s total sales were $624.6 million, some $19 million below the previous year.

Instant Kiwi, with sales of $111.6 million, had been a success story that showed the value of constantly introducing variety and carefully matching a product to the changing mood of the market.

Lotto and Lotto Strike sales were $457.7 million, $13.1 million below the previous year. Lotto was the Commission’s flagship product and a key revenue driver, but it must be brought up to date and made more relevant to New Zealanders’ contemporary lives if it was to continue to grow. That work was already well under way, Mrs Burgess said.

Sales of TeleBingo dropped 21 per cent to $33.8 million for the year, following its rescheduling by Television New Zealand, to a later time slot.

Mrs Burgess said the Commission regretted that so many people who had previously enjoyed the game had lost the chance to play because of the move to a later time slot. However, this was not something the organisation had been able to control at the time. It was now devoting “significant resources to developing a new concept that will satisfy the requirements of both our business and the television station broadcasting the game.”

The Commission hoped to have the new show on air in the second quarter of the 2001 calendar year.

Daily Keno sales for the year were $21.5 million.

end
contact:

Lesley Meadows
Public Relations Manager, New Zealand Lotteries Commission
phone 04 802-7000 or 025 242-2336

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