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The Oregon Lottery Is Suspending Play On Video Lottery Terminals—Its Largest Source of Cash

The Oregon Lottery is the state's second leading source of revenue after personal income taxes, but with bars closed, there's no way to play.

The Oregon Lottery today made an announcement that follows logically from Gov. Kate Brown's March 16 order that Oregon's bars restaurants and bars and restaurants close because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In compliance with Gov. Brown's recent executive order on social distancing, Oregon Lottery is disabling play on its statewide network of Video Lottery terminals, effective at 5 p.m. today," said Lottery spokesman Matt Shelby.

"Video Lottery terminals will be disabled until further notice. Terminals will remain in the field and Lottery staff will continue providing scheduled maintenance."

The loss of video lottery may be a boon to chronic gamblers but will be a big financial hit for the state.

After personal income taxes (which will plummet during the COVID-19 pandemic), the Oregon Lottery is the state's second largest source of revenue—and video lottery is by far the agency's largest and most lucrative offering, accounting for about 72 percent of the agency's revenues in 2019.

Lottery revenues reached record highs in 2019, with video lottery alone bringing in nearly $1 billion.