Lottery Sales Slump During Riots; 200 Outlets Lost

From the Associated Press

The financially ailing state lottery suffered an estimated 30% sales slump in Southern California during the Los Angeles riots, which knocked out about 200 ticket-dispensing outlets, lottery officials said Friday.

The out-of-service outlets, mostly in poor areas, represented about 7% of the 2,800 terminals in the greater Los Angeles area and were not solely responsible for the sales slump, said lottery spokeswoman Joanne McNabb.

She said many people stayed at home instead of going about their normal business, which for some includes buying lottery tickets.

Lottery employees were in the riot-torn neighborhoods this week "hauling in charred terminals," McNabb said.

Sales for computerized lottery games in Southern California were down 30% on April 30, the second day of rioting, officials said. Complete figures during the three days of riots are not yet available.

More than 200 outlets were out of service because stores were burned, looted, without power or had lottery terminals destroyed, McNabb said. Normally there would be about 100 outlets out of service for routine problems in the region, but the outages rose to more than 300, she said.

The lottery will try to help retailers get back into business as quickly as possible, McNabb said.

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