City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

February 17, 2011
Would you support a Kings lottery game?

A recent article in Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal highlighted the success of lottery games around the country that display professional sports team logos. In some cases, the games have created quite a windfall (the Boston Red Sox have made $10.4 million on lotto games that bear their logo in New England).

That got me thinking: the NFL's Raiders, 49ers and Chargers all have games in California. Why not the Kings?

Alex Traverse, a spokesman for the California State Lottery, told me the commission has "had some conversations, but only preliminary talks" in the past with the Kings about a game.

"We'd be willing to talk to them about doing something, but it would have to make sense for both sides," he said.

Here's how the arrangements work: teams get a one-time payment of somewhere around $475,000 for lending their logos to a lotto game. Teams then get 1 percent of ticket sales. The rest goes into the prize pool and to public education.

Those figures don't point to a huge success story in California. The Raiders game, which launched last August, has netted the team $609,679 - but that includes the initial payment. The 49ers took in $572,389 and the Chargers $552,871.

It's unclear if the NFL lotto games will continue next season (if there is a next season in the NFL). Traverse said lotto officials are evaluating the games' success but that "at this point, I'm not sure any of them have been successful enough that we'd want to revisit them."

So what do you think? I realize public sentiment is largely against taxpayer support of the Kings and a new arena, but would you be willing to accept a lotto game?

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About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at


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