As a result of two voter initiatives, Oregonians created the Oregon State Lottery in 1984. The lottery’s mission, “Operate a lottery with the highest standards of security and integrity to earn maximum profits for the people of Oregon commensurate with the public good,” directs the efforts of the over 400 statewide lottery employees. Oregon’s lottery is both a public trust and a market-driven business. Lottery revenues—over $1 billion a year since 2006—result in transfers to the state to help fund public endeavors.
ORS 461.500 provides that at least 84% of total annual revenues be returned to the public, with at least 50% being returned as prizes and the remainder used for designated public purposes. The remaining 16% of annual revenues are available for the payment of administrative expenses. Lottery administrative expenses are currently at just under 4% of revenue, which makes the agency entirely self-funded, with no tax money contributed to its operation, programming or development.
Since it began selling tickets in 1985, the Oregon State Lottery has grown to become the second largest revenue producer for the state, following income tax revenues, and continues to do good things for Oregon. Since 1985, the lottery has transferred nearly $10 billion to help support public education, economic development, state parks and watershed enhancement. It has also paid players over $30 billion in prizes and provided over $80 million for problem gambling treatment and awareness.
Mailing Address: PO Box 12649, Salem 97309
Telephone: 503-540-1000; TTY: 503-540-1068
Contact: Barry Pack, Director
Legal and Legislative Information
Statutory Authority: ORS Chapter 461
Records, Publications and General Information