When You Play The Lottery, Iowa Wins!
Each year, the Iowa Lottery raises tens of millions of dollars that enrich life in our state. Today, lottery proceeds have three main purposes in Iowa. They provide support for veterans; help for a variety of significant projects through the state general fund; and backing for the Vision Iowa program, which was implemented to create tourism destinations and community attractions in the state and build and repair schools.
Since 1992, a majority of lottery profits have been directed into the state general fund, where they are used to pay for programs that benefit all Iowans. In the Iowa Lottery's latest financial year, the lottery raised $55.2 million in proceeds that were deposited in the state general fund. Some of the programs that receive money from the general fund include education, natural resources, health and family services and public safety. The Governor and Iowa Legislature allocate money from the general fund based on where they believe those funds are needed most.
Iowa Veterans Trust Fund
Since July 2008, a portion of lottery proceeds has been dedicated to the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund, where they are used to support our state's veterans. The proceeds from two instant-scratch games and two pull-tab games each year are directed into the Veterans Trust Fund. The Iowa Lottery estimates that the games will provide about $2 million to $3 million in proceeds annually for the Veterans Trust Fund.
The Iowa Veterans Trust Fund was created to provide assistance to qualified veterans to help pay for expenses such as job training or college tuition assistance; some dental, vision and hearing assistance and individual or family counseling programs.
The Iowa Plan was a long-term economic development program. It was divided into four basic areas: a Jobs Now program designed to put people to work; government construction programs; community and economic betterment; and educational and agricultural research. Lottery profits were dedicated to the Iowa Plan from fiscal year 1986 through fiscal year 1990.
The CLEAN Fund stood for Committing the Lottery to Environment, Agriculture and Natural Resources. The program dedicated money to environmental and cultural causes. Lottery profits were dedicated to the CLEAN Fund during fiscal year 1991.
Iowa Gambling Treatment Fund
The Iowa Gambling Treatment Program provides treatment, counseling and outreach programs for those concerned about gambling as well as the 1-800-BETSOFF helpline. The Iowa Lottery is committed to responsible play and helps address the issue of problem gambling. Each year, the lottery provides the public with information about 1-800-BETSOFF by including messages about the helpline on millions of lottery tickets, brochures and point-of-sale materials as well as other publications. The Iowa Lottery also provided more than $15.7 million to the Iowa Gambling Treatment Fund. In 2009, the Gambling Treatment Fund was eliminated, with the Gambling Treatment Program now receiving its funding from the state General Fund.
A portion of lottery profits have been earmarked for specific purposes within the state budget.
Note: All of the amounts listed above are from fiscal year 1986 through the end of fiscal year 2013.
Backing For Vision Iowa
In addition to those direct uses of Lottery proceeds, lottery profits are also linked to the Vision Iowa program. Vision Iowa was implemented in 2000 to create tourism destinations in the state, assist with community attractions, and build and repair schools.
Direct funding for Vision Iowa comes from gaming revenues. However, as the program was being initiated, investors indicated there was a need to strengthen the Vision Iowa bonds by dedicating $20 million annually in lottery revenues as a backup.
Legislation was approved that dedicates $15 million in lottery revenues to programs for community attractions in Iowa and another $5 million to Vision Iowa programs to build and repair schools if gambling revenues don't reach that amount. Lottery funding will continue to be linked to Vision Iowa over the 20-year payback period of the program's bonds.