Governor Quinn recently chose Northstar Lottery Group to run the Illinois Lottery’s daily operations in a 10-year contract that is promised to generate $4.8 billion for the state over the next five years. Revenue officials say that’s $1.1 billion more than the state has been generating under its own management.
Northstar is comprised of longtime Illinois lottery contractors GTECH and Scientific Games. To generate the level of profit and tax revenue promised, the company will have to be more aggressive in selling tickets, targeting new customers and changing the way people spend their limited incomes.
The other finalist in the contract bidding, Camelot Group, is considering court action about the secret process and bidding specifications. Camelot has filed a formal protest with the Illinois Department of Revenue stating that Illinois officials did not “create a competitive environment” and gave Northstar information more quickly and an unfair advantage. It could be a long time before the promised increased revenue for schools and capital projects is realized.
Observations and comments about state government by State Representative Robert W. Pritchard.
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