View Comments
Welcome to Land of Lottery
Welcome to Land of Lottery

West Australians spent more on Lotto last financial year than ever, cementing their status as the world's most enthusiastic lottery players.

Defying a downturn in general retail conditions and the growing onslaught of internet gambling, lottery sales leapt 11.6 per cent to $762 million in the last financial year, or $421.80 for every WA adult.

Returns from Lotterywest to hospitals, sports, arts and community groups was a record $257 million last year, while $428 million was paid out in prize money.

Lotterywest's sales per capita of $US259 ($250) was the highest of any lottery operator in the world, according to figures contained in La Fleur's 2012 World Lottery Almanac, published in Lotterywest's annual report.

It was higher than Norway's Norsk Tipping ($US239), Finland's Veikkaus ($US199), Tattersall's, which runs lotteries in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania ($US196), and Austrian Lotteries ($US181).

Lotterywest chief Jan Stewart said a run of jackpots for OZ Lotto and Powerball had contributed to the record sales result, plus a 12.3 per cent increase in sales of Saturday Lotto prompted by the addition of a sixth prize division, doubling the number of winners each week.

Saturday Lotto generated $360 million in sales, OZ Lotto was $133 million, Powerball was $101 million and Scratch 'n' Win was $100 million.

"We are delighted that this has been our best year ever for both sales and returns to beneficiaries," Ms Stewart said.

"The overall retail environment has had some impact on our business but, as our sales results show, this year players have been willing to spend more on our products and we have attracted some new players."

Ms Stewart said though competition from online gambling was still a relatively new phenomenon and its impact was difficult to quantify, competition from internet providers was real.

Lotterywest's new online sales channel contributed under 2 per cent to its total sales.

If South Australia proceeds with its publicly announced plan to sell its State lottery licence to a private operator, WA will be the only State left without privatised lotteries.

Ms Stewart said both sides of politics had made clear they wished to retain Lotterywest as a State-owned agency.