ELYRIA -- The Ohio Lottery says it's no longer paying $115 registration fees for schools taking part in the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee, favoring instead a program that helps gambling addicts.
The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram reports officials cited budget cuts for discontinuing about $178,000 in fees for participating Ohio schools.
The agency has paid them since 2008. Lottery spokeswoman Danielle Frizzi-Babb says the agency's budget for sponsorship programs was cut from $1.7 million in the last fiscal year to $1.5 million.
She also says the state has cut the lottery budget to a level similar to 2008.
Frizzi-Babb says more funding was needed for a gambling support group as additional casinos open in Ohio. The newspaper reports the agency's overall revenue in the last fiscal year totaled about $2.7 billion.
The Associated Press