States surrounding Illinois ready for lottery business

CHICAGO (AP) — Even buying lottery tickets in Illinois is losing its charm.

Illinois is delaying payouts of more than $600 because of its budget mess and neighboring states are salivating at the chance to boost their own lottery sales. Gas stations, smoke shops and convenience stores near borders, particularly in Indiana, Kentucky, Iowa and Missouri, say they’ve already noticed a difference.

The Hoosier Lottery has issued a statement saying it welcomes Illinois players to Indiana.

In Kentucky’s McCracken County, along Illinois’ southern border, there was a 13 percent jump in scratch-offs from July 1st through October 9th, compared to a 9 percent jump statewide.

The Lottery problems stem from Illinois’ budget impasse. There’s already been a federal lawsuit and there are lingering questions about Illinois revenues and a shake-up in lottery management.