STATE FAIRGROUNDS (WSYR-TV) — The New York Gaming Commission blames past data, “staffing levels required” and the “current economic climate” on the New York Lottery not selling lottery tickets, including scratch-offs, at this year’s State Fair.

Fairgoers were disappointed when they found the Lottery’s Fair exhibit was no longer offering the gaming option.

Diane Waldon, of Liverpool, tells NewsChannel 9, it’s “not a good decision. I think they’re losing a lot of money.”

A spokesperson for the State Gaming Commission emails, “After reviewing data from past years and carefully considering the staffing levels required and current economic climate, the Lottery made the decision to pivot to a promotional event for this year, with free games and free prizes.”

The exhibit, this year, is asking people to register outside and play free games for free prizes inside. People can spin a wheel for prizes, like lottery swag, or win small cash prizes through free scratch-off tickets.

In past years, the Lottery partnered with local retailers to sell actual lottery tickets at the Fairgrounds.

The spokesperson explains, “This required a tremendous staffing effort on the part of the Lottery and our partner.”

The so-called “partner” this year was likely Kieffer’s Cigar Store in Liverpool if the rotation of retailers matched previous years.

The store owner says she wasn’t consulted to offer lottery gaming at the Fair and would have found the staff to continue the tradition. She, like her customers, hopes the tickets return next year.

“I would say bring back the scratch-offs,” says Diane Waldon. “It’s so convenient to come here every year at the Fair. It’s a no-brainer.”

The Lottery says: “We will conduct a thorough review of our attendance at the Fair and determine the next steps.”

The tickets were also discontinued at the Erie County Fair last month.