Eastern N.M. businesses say some prize money not being awarded
Eastern New Mexico retailers have accused the New Mexico Lottery of misrepresenting scratch-off games to the public by advertising prizes, then pulling the games before all the money is awarded.
The retailers, in a class-action lawsuit filed in state District Court in Albuquerque last week, allege the lottery has adopted a practice over the past several years of prematurely pulling games statewide while substantial cash prizes are available.
At the same time, the retailers said, the lottery promotes the games and entices people to buy tickets by posting top prizes still to be won.
Lottery spokeswoman Linda Hamlin said Monday that lottery officials were reviewing the lawsuit and that it would be premature to comment.
The lawsuit — which alleges unfair trade practices and negligent misrepresentation — asks the court to stop the New Mexico Lottery from prematurely discontinuing scratch-off games. It also asks the court to delineate the circumstances in which the lottery can pick up unsold games.