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Louisiana Lotteries

In October 1990, Louisiana voters approved a constitutional amendment (Act 1045) to establish the Louisiana Lottery Corporation (LLC). The LLC was designed to operate as a private business, with state government oversight and regulation, and as such, is entirely self-funded. The motivation for the proposal was to generate state income without raising taxes. In September 1991, LLC sold its first instant scratch-off game, Louisiana Treasures. The LLC has offered scratch tickets, draw games, and multi-state Powerball and Mega Millions since November 2011.

The governor, the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, the Senate Judiciary B Committee, the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice, the Attorney General and the Legislative Auditor all provide some form of oversight of the LLC, including review of its budget, administrative policies and game drawings. However, it is the LLC President who manages the day-to-day operations under the supervision of the LLC's nine-member, governor-appointed board of directors. Board members serve staggered four-year terms. The board comprises one member from each of the state's seven congressional districts; one member from the Louisiana Oil Marketers and Convenience Store Association; and one member at-large. The Louisiana State Treasurer serves as an ex-officio board member.

The LLC is required by statute to transfer 35% of its sales revenue to the state treasury for the benefit of its citizens. In July 2004, a constitutional amendment directed that all of these proceeds were to benefit the Minimum Foundation Program, which funds elementary and secondary public education in the state. Additionally, the first $500,000 in annual LLC proceeds is reserved for the Louisiana Office of Addictive Disorders to fund problem gambling programs.

There are more than 2,800 licensed lottery retailers. Administrative law prohibits licensed retailers from only selling lottery tickets; retailers must have a primary product, outside of lottery tickets, that they sell. Licensed retailers earn a commission of 5% on lottery ticket sales and an incentive of up 2% for cashing winning tickets valued at $600 or less. An additional selling bonus is also awarded to retailers of up to 1% on the sale of top-prize winning tickets for Lotto, Easy 5, Powerball jackpots (1% of Louisiana's jackpot contribution or a minimum of $25,000) and Mega Millions jackpots (minimum of $25,000 or 1% of Louisiana's contribution to the jackpot prize pool). More than a third of the LLC's total operating budget, excluding prize payments, is paid to retailers for commissions and incentives. The only cost licensed retailers must pay is a one-time $35 license fee and a weekly $20 communication fee to sell lottery tickets. There is no fee for annual license renewals and the LLC provides equipment and training at no charge, including ticket dispensers, terminal and supplies, a customer play center, shipping charges and sales materials.

More than half of lottery sales (52%) are returned to players in prizes. Winning scratch tickets may be claimed for up to 90 days after the end of the game and winning draw game tickets may be claimed for up to 180 days after the draw date. Prizes not claimed become unclaimed and are returned to winners in the form of increased payouts on scratch-off tickets and additional second-chance promotions.
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