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Missouri Lottery Commission receives ‘excellent’ rating from audit

The Missouri Lottery Commission received an “excellent” rating — with no “significant deficiencies” found — in a recent state audit. 

“The audit identified no significant deficiencies in internal controls, no significant noncompliance with legal provisions, and no significant deficiencies in management practices and procedures,” State Auditor Nicole Galloway said in the report

It gave the commission a rating of “excellent” — the highest available. The audit, which is required by law every two years, resulted in no findings. 

The Missouri Lottery Commission was ranked “good” in 2017 and 2015. 

“This is the result of a dedicated Lottery staff who have worked so hard in achieving our ‘excellent’ rating,” Executive Director May Scheve Reardon said in a statement. “This comes as we just completed the best year in the Missouri Lottery’s 33-year history with record-breaking sales and proceeds to education. As always, we look forward to finding new ways to grow our contributions and continuing to serve the needs of public education in Missouri.”

With the help of a certified public accountants (CPA) firm, auditors reviewed the commission’s meeting minutes, procedures, financial records, interviews with personnel, and other documents to evaluate its compliance with legal provisions, efficiency of management practices and procedures, and control over significant financial functions, Galloway said. 

The majority of the Missouri Lottery Commission’s total revenue came from scratch ticket sales (more than $13.7 billion or 60.2 percent) and draw game sales (more than $8 billion or 35.4 percent). Pull-tab sales accounted for 3.1 percent of the commission’s revenue (more than $714 million) and unclaimed prizes only 1 percent (nearly $227 million). 

The State Auditor’s Office noted previous reviews included concerns with a lack of transparency with some travel expenses. That was not the case in the recent audit, however. 

“Some Lottery travel costs are not transparent because the primary instant ticket contractor pays some Lottery travel expenses,” the 2017 audit said. “As a result, these expenses are excluded from travel expenses on the Lottery’s financial statements.”

A 2015 report also cited travel expenses in its findings, as well as advertising and sponsorships, contracts, and points for prizes. 

The commission spent more than $130,000 on in-state travel and more than $72,000 on out-of-state travel in Fiscal Year 2018, according to the audit. In comparison, it spent more than $122,000 on in-state travel and more than $52,000 on out-of-state travel in Fiscal Year 2016. 

The Missouri Lottery Commission is comprised of five governor-appointed members. It’s tasked with appointing a director and supervising the state lottery. 

Galloway, the lone Democrat who holds an elected statewide office, has announced she’s running for governor in 2020. In her formal announcement, Galloway touted her efforts as state auditor to find government waste.