According to the National Association of State Lotteries (NASPL), nearly 186,000 retailers sell lottery tickets in their states. About three-fourths of them offer online services. Half are convenience stores, with other retailers including nonprofit organizations, service stations, and restaurants. Some also run lottery outlets. Most states have no limit on the number of retailers. To increase sales, lottery retailers are encouraged to market their products to different demographic groups. However, some states limit the number of retailers.
In the United States, lottery sales are funded by state governments. As of August 2004, forty-two states operate lottery games. While the lottery has long been a popular activity, its rise in popularity owes much to the need for government funding. By the early 1970s, lottery sales were up across the Northeast. The need to raise funds for public projects and the widespread Catholic population made this practice particularly popular in the region.
The New York lottery has the highest sales of any lottery in the country. In 2003, the New York lottery generated $5 billion in sales. Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Texas all had lottery sales exceeding $1 billion. Each state allocates lottery profits differently. The table 7.6 provides a breakdown of the percentage of revenue that each state receives from the lottery.
In general, lottery sales increase sales for retailers. Additionally, lottery sales generate commissions for lottery operators. Moreover, outlets that sell winning jackpot tickets receive cash bonuses from the lottery. These events also generate a large amount of publicity and media attention for the store. The positive publicity that this generates greatly improves the business.