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The state received less money from lottery sales in 3 of the first four months of the new fiscal year compared to a year ago.

The state's take from lottery sales was down in July, August and October compared to the same period in 2010. September sales were up.

A private management company, Northstar Lottery Group, took over operations July 1.

But Northstar and the lottery's finance director say the drop likely reflects expenses related to taking over operations, and the state's share of sales revenue should increase.

Jim Muschinske is revenue manager for the legislature's Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability. He calls the numbers "disconcerting" but says the commission has not yet done an analysis to determine why they're falling.

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