House and Senate Budget Negotiators to Decide on How Many Lottery Vending Machines to Authorize

March 3, 2024 | Financial

FLORIDA (March 1, 2024) — As appropriations Chairs work out the final details on a budget destined for a legislative vote next week, one sticking point revolves around the authorization of lottery vending machines in the state budget. Here’s a breakdown of the key points:

  1. Budget Bills Overview:
    • Both HB 5001 and SB 2500 budget bills initially considered 3,000 Florida Lottery vending machines.
    • The proposed budget is $71,158,570.
  2. Current House Position:
    • The current House position favors authorizing 3,500 “Full-Service Vending Machines” with the capability to sell both terminal tickets and instant tickets.
  3. Budget Amendment Process:
    • Both budget bills allow the Department of the Lottery to submit budget amendments in accordance with chapter 216, Florida Statutes.
    • The amendments could potentially increase Specific Appropriation 2831 by up to 500 additional ticket terminals.
  4. Contingencies for Budget Amendments:
    • Prior to submitting any budget amendment that expands the lottery retailer network, the Revenue Estimating Conference must assess:
      • Whether sales will increase sufficiently to cover terminal costs.
      • If there will be an offset for any losses to the existing network.
      • Whether additional revenue will be generated for the state.
    • The budget amendments are contingent upon the department providing a plan, including a positive impact analysis from the Revenue Estimating Conference.
    • The plan should identify specific terminal needs and outline a distribution plan for the additional terminals.
  5. Extra Step in House Position:
    • The House position introduces an additional step or requirement that is not present in the initial budget bills.
    • This extra step involves the Revenue Estimating Conference determining the impact of sales and ensuring that the revenue generated will cover costs and benefit the state.

In summary, the disagreement involves the House’s preference for more vending machines than initially proposed, and the introduction of an additional step in the budget amendment process, emphasizing the need for a positive impact analysis and a detailed plan before authorizing more lottery vending machines. The outcome may hinge on negotiations between the appropriations chairs and the legislative vote scheduled for the following week.


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