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Florida will roll out 1,000 lottery-ticket vending machines in supermarkets, starting in mid-August, with installation scheduled to be complete by the close of November, according to published reports.
State lottery officials and legislators have poured $3.9 million of taxpayer money into the initiative. An earlier program of kiosks in retail locations ended eight years ago when then-Gov. Jeb Bush determined that most of the machines were unprofitable and cut off the funds to lease them.
This time around, an existing contract with Providence, R.I.-based GTech Corp., which supplies the Florida Lottery’s gaming systems, includes a provision to lease vending machines at the state’s option for $329 a month each. The kiosks will now be located only in supermarkets, among them Publix and Winn-Dixie stores, where they will occupy “prime locations,” Florida Lottery secretary Leo DiBenigno told the Associated Press.
The machines will grow scratch-off ticket sales by 15 percent, raising $3.4 million annually, state economists say, basing their estimate on the results of a 2007 pilot program.