Fewer gamblers bought Ohio lottery scratch-off tickets during the past year, and competition from the state's new casinos and racinos may be having an impact.
Instant tickets are the lottery's most popular game with more than $1.4 billion worth sold every year. But sales have fallen 4 percent — or $56.9 million — over the past 12 months, compared with the previous year.
Most of the decline was in the past six months, according to an analysis of Ohio Lottery Commission numbers by The Akron Beacon Journal.
Lottery Director Dennis Berg said the four new casinos and racinos probably have had an impact. Casinos have opened during the past year or so in Cleveland, Toledo, Columbus and Cincinnati.
Some retailers say the economy has affected scratch-off sales, too.