Lack Of Lottery Has Illinois Merchants Worried 

(Sauget, IL) — Illinois merchants depending on the state lottery for customers are worried shoppers will cross the Mississippi and buy tickets, fuel and liquor in Missouri. Wednesday night may have been the final Powerball drawing in Illinois. The state is being forced out of two multi-state lottery games because of a budget impasse. Sales of Powerball tickets headed for suspension in Illinois Wednesday night at the order of a multi-state organization that oversees the game. The similar Mega Millions game was scheduled to follow suit Friday night. The president of the Illinois Merchant’s Association tells the “St. Louis-Post Dispatch” the lottery game shutdown is “very real” and border areas will be especially vulnerable to a loss of customers. Lottery sales account for some 90 million dollars in annual revenue to cash-strapped Illinois. Experts say that’s not counting the largely immeasurable but undeniable spin off effects when people stop for tickets and buy gas and groceries.