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Missouri Senate to discuss privatizing state lottery

Missouri LotteryMissouri Lottery: Missouri Senate to discuss privatizing state lottery

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Lottery will begin talks in April with the state Senate about moving control of the lottery from the government to the private sector.

Lottery Executive Director May Scheve said it was difficult to comment on the issue because the Missouri Lottery is currently ascertaining the opinion of state vendors on the matter; privatization was only recently brought up by the Senate's Rebooting Government initiative.

"We really haven't engaged in conversation with the Senate," Scheve said. "But beginning in April, we will work with the Senate to provide as much information as we can."

Sen. Jim Lembke, R-St. Louis, said he moved back a hearing on privatizing the lottery because none of the vendors working with the lottery are willing to testify until after they are finished with the lottery. Lembke is the chairman of the Senate Government Accountability Committee, which is to hold a hearing on lottery privatization once the process begins next month.

"The lottery has to be kind of reserved with their comments since it might affect some of the (answers)," Lembke said. "My concern and interest in the lottery is I'm looking at all areas of state government to find out how we can become more competitive."

Lembke called the proposed hearing a "fact-finding mission" because there is not much previous information for the committee to look at right now. He also said researching ways to change government procedure is important to help lawmakers learn how to take better care of the state.

"If we can be better stewards as to the way we manage resources, then that means more money goes to education, which is where the lottery is earmarked to go," Lembke said. "There really hasn't been that much to compare it to, so we don't have that much data, so this is just a fact-finding mission."

President Pro Tem Sen. Robert Mayer, R-Dexter, sent a letter to Lembke requesting he investigate what effects privatizing the lottery could have on state funds..

Mayer said in a written statement: "Some states have taken steps to privatize their lottery or some lottery services including online or instant ticket printing and other services. ... I anticipate companies that provide these services will appear before the committee."

Talks about privatizing the state lottery came soon after Illinois passed a bill allowing a private company to take control of the state's lottery. The bill is currently under review by the Illinois Supreme Court after the state appealed a decision by a state appeals court that said the bill was unconstitutional.

It is currently illegal under federal law to completely privatize a state's lottery, which is one reason why no states outside of Illinois have attempted to pass such legislation, Scheve said.

Lembke said he expects to be able to give a report on his results to the General Assembly by the end of April and that he hopes to find the most efficient ways to help the state.

"My hope, on any area we look at, is to find efficiencies and savings and ways to meet all of the priorities of the people of the state," Lembke said.

Columbia Missourian

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37 comments. Last comment 4 years ago by mayhem.
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jimmy4164's avatar - andy warhol.jpg
State of Mind
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Posted: March 3, 2011, 11:55 am - IP Logged

A lottery has to be one of the most reliable and profitable revenue sources a state can have.

That Missouri is even considering handing it over to a private corporation is unbelievable!

Or is it?  It fits right in with the union busting and privatization efforts of newly elected

legislatures across the country.   If there are any concerns about the randomness of the

computerized draws in Missouri now, just wait until the likes of "Kenneth Lay" or "Bernie

Madoff" are in charge!  I wonder how long it will take before those who voted for this

mentality in 2010 start to feel the effects of "buyer's remorse?"

Rollerball (1975) - Here we come!

    Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
    Chief Bottle Washer
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    Posted: March 3, 2011, 12:00 pm - IP Logged

    A lottery has to be one of the most reliable and profitable revenue sources a state can have.

    That Missouri is even considering handing it over to a private corporation is unbelievable!

    Or is it?  It fits right in with the union busting and privatization efforts of newly elected

    legislatures across the country.   If there are any concerns about the randomness of the

    computerized draws in Missouri now, just wait until the likes of "Kenneth Lay" or "Bernie

    Madoff" are in charge!  I wonder how long it will take before those who voted for this

    mentality in 2010 start to feel the effects of "buyer's remorse?"

    Rollerball (1975) - Here we come!

    I think you misunderstand the purpose of privatization.  It is to increase revenues to the state.  I'm not saying I'm for it or against it, but if you don't like it because you believe the state will receive less money, then I don't think you are getting the concept.

    Just like the current union debate in Wisconsin is to bring more income to the state, by eliminating the unfair union benefits, which were obtained through collective bargaining.

     

    Check the State Lottery Report Card
    What grade did your lottery earn?

     

    Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
    Help eliminate computerized drawings!

      jimmy4164's avatar - andy warhol.jpg
      State of Mind
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      Posted: March 3, 2011, 12:14 pm - IP Logged

      I think you misunderstand the purpose of privatization.  It is to increase revenues to the state.  I'm not saying I'm for it or against it, but if you don't like it because you believe the state will receive less money, then I don't think you are getting the concept.

      Just like the current union debate in Wisconsin is to bring more income to the state, by eliminating the unfair union benefits, which were obtained through collective bargaining.

      I get it.  However, in practise, these moves seldom result in more revenue for the governments.  What they do for sure is move some of the profits to the corporations and quite often to a few elected officials who support the move.

      Corporations, by charter, are mandated to make a profit for their shareholders.  Any methods a private lottery employs to increase lottery sales would be better implemented by the public entity currently in charge.  If necessary, PR firms stand ready and willing to consult with state commissions on ways to improve their operations.  Privatization proponents have a history of predicting their ability to get blood out of turnips.  It never seems to work out that way.

        Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
        Chief Bottle Washer
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        Posted: March 3, 2011, 12:20 pm - IP Logged

        I get it.  However, in practise, these moves seldom result in more revenue for the governments.  What they do for sure is move some of the profits to the corporations and quite often to a few elected officials who support the move.

        Corporations, by charter, are mandated to make a profit for their shareholders.  Any methods a private lottery employs to increase lottery sales would be better implemented by the public entity currently in charge.  If necessary, PR firms stand ready and willing to consult with state commissions on ways to improve their operations.  Privatization proponents have a history of predicting their ability to get blood out of turnips.  It never seems to work out that way.

        Well, I guess philosophically we disagree, because I'm at a loss to point at one single example where the government does something better and more efficiently -- and more profittably -- than a private-sector company.  Perhaps you could cite an example?

         

        Check the State Lottery Report Card
        What grade did your lottery earn?

         

        Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
        Help eliminate computerized drawings!

          sully16's avatar - sharan
          Listens to the wind
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          Posted: March 3, 2011, 12:26 pm - IP Logged

          I'm for it, I believe it will create more jobs ,bring in more money and eliminate more government.

          There's only one US Flag

            jimmy4164's avatar - andy warhol.jpg
            State of Mind
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            Posted: March 3, 2011, 12:33 pm - IP Logged

            Well, I guess philosophically we disagree, because I'm at a loss to point at one single example where the government does something better and more efficiently -- and more profittably -- than a private-sector company.  Perhaps you could cite an example?

            With a 50% profit margin, it should be obvious that the many state run lotteries across the country are the best examples.  In my opinion, there are many areas where the profit motive works for the good of all.  However, I also believe there are some where profit increases the potential for greed to trump what is good for the majority.  I put lotteries in this latter category.

            In all these kinds of debates - healthcare, liquor & lottery sales, the focus of privatization proponents is always on potential increases in profit.  I'm more interested in how that profit is distributed.

              Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
              Chief Bottle Washer
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              Posted: March 3, 2011, 12:36 pm - IP Logged

              With a 50% profit margin, it should be obvious that the many state run lotteries across the country are the best examples.  In my opinion, there are many areas where the profit motive works for the good of all.  However, I also believe there are some where profit increases the potential for greed to trump what is good for the majority.  I put lotteries in this latter category.

              In all these kinds of debates - healthcare, liquor & lottery sales, the focus of privatization proponents is always on potential increases in profit.  I'm more interested in how that profit is distributed.

              You did not quote an example of the government doing something better than the private sector.  Returning a mere 50% in a gambling operation is nothing to crow about.  I'm sure the casinos bring back a much healthier profit ratio than that.

              If you'd like to cite an example of one single instance where the government is doing something better, more efficiently and/or more profitably than a private sector company, I would be interested to hear it.  Otherwise, I don't think you can claim that privatization will be a negative to the state in terms of money to the state.

               

              Check the State Lottery Report Card
              What grade did your lottery earn?

               

              Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
              Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                jimmy4164's avatar - andy warhol.jpg
                State of Mind
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                Posted: March 3, 2011, 12:44 pm - IP Logged

                You did not quote an example of the government doing something better than the private sector.  Returning a mere 50% in a gambling operation is nothing to crow about.  I'm sure the casinos bring back a much healthier profit ratio than that.

                If you'd like to cite an example of one single instance where the government is doing something better, more efficiently and/or more profitably than a private sector company, I would be interested to hear it.  Otherwise, I don't think you can claim that privatization will be a negative to the state in terms of money to the state.

                Business is not my area of expertise.  Perhaps someone else here can provide some examples.

                I won't be surprised though if there are not many examples of profitable government enterprises.

                I believe it is the duty of government to provide services, not make a profit.

                  Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
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                  Posted: March 3, 2011, 12:59 pm - IP Logged

                  Business is not my area of expertise.  Perhaps someone else here can provide some examples.

                  I won't be surprised though if there are not many examples of profitable government enterprises.

                  I believe it is the duty of government to provide services, not make a profit.

                  Well you are contradicting your own argument in your first post.  Your argument was that the government was turning a profit, and a private company would screw that up. 

                  I hate to say it, but it sounds like you just plain like government and dislike business.  Because you are unwilling to provide a shred of evidence for your initial complaints, and you contradicted yourself in an attempt to evade my pointed questions.

                  Unless you can provide something concrete I would have to conclude that it is point-set-match.

                  Also, when you use the point about "Bernie Madoff" in your first post, are you trying to say that government has a clean record of no corruption, while private industry is riddled with corruption?  That is almost too laughable a proposition to write.

                   

                  Check the State Lottery Report Card
                  What grade did your lottery earn?

                   

                  Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
                  Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                    Littleoldlady's avatar - basket
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                    Posted: March 3, 2011, 1:26 pm - IP Logged

                    Most private companies are in for profits for themselves.  When I see how some states want to "privitize" their lotteries, I think about how the banking industry was "deregulated" and how many people lost everything because of the "lack" of oversight. Banks floated phony paper, mortgage companies made loans to any and everbody and then the bubble burst and we are still not out of the woods by a long shot.  I am not so "trusting" of these privitization ideals anymore.

                    If you know your number is going to hit, have patience and then KILL IT!

                    You never know when you will get another hit.

                      jimmy4164's avatar - andy warhol.jpg
                      State of Mind
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                      Posted: March 3, 2011, 1:58 pm - IP Logged

                      Well you are contradicting your own argument in your first post.  Your argument was that the government was turning a profit, and a private company would screw that up. 

                      I hate to say it, but it sounds like you just plain like government and dislike business.  Because you are unwilling to provide a shred of evidence for your initial complaints, and you contradicted yourself in an attempt to evade my pointed questions.

                      Unless you can provide something concrete I would have to conclude that it is point-set-match.

                      Also, when you use the point about "Bernie Madoff" in your first post, are you trying to say that government has a clean record of no corruption, while private industry is riddled with corruption?  That is almost too laughable a proposition to write.

                      I can see where this is going, and I'm not interested.  I could start going round and round with you on these issues, but it would be fruitless.  These kinds of issues always boil down to fundamental philosophical differences over what is the best way for societies to function.  I happen to believe the major problems of our species today started with the discovery of agriculture.  The documentary and book, Guns, Germs, and Steel might interest you.   I won't challenge you if you believe you've won the match.

                      I found this website last summer while searching for information on state lottery raffles.  Little did I know I would end up debating people over randomness, and now politics.  My raffle questions are still open.  I would appreciate any insights you might have on them:

                      http://www.lotterypost.com/thread/217181/1705801

                        Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
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                        Posted: March 3, 2011, 2:05 pm - IP Logged

                        I can see where this is going, and I'm not interested.  I could start going round and round with you on these issues, but it would be fruitless.  These kinds of issues always boil down to fundamental philosophical differences over what is the best way for societies to function.  I happen to believe the major problems of our species today started with the discovery of agriculture.  The documentary and book, Guns, Germs, and Steel might interest you.   I won't challenge you if you believe you've won the match.

                        I found this website last summer while searching for information on state lottery raffles.  Little did I know I would end up debating people over randomness, and now politics.  My raffle questions are still open.  I would appreciate any insights you might have on them:

                        http://www.lotterypost.com/thread/217181/1705801

                        How strange.  You started this discussion by posting your opinion.

                        This is a forum.  It is where people come to debate and discuss, not where someone can stand on a soap box without allowing a differing opinon to be expressed.  You can use your blog if that's all you're interested in doing.

                        It seems that when it appears your argument does not hold the same weight as those with the opposite opinion, instead of saying, "Hey, you have a point, maybe I didn't think this through," you try to shift to a different, unrelated point and allow your obfuscation to mask your less-than-convincing argument.

                        Instead of posting a "Woe is me" comment, how about giving props to the other side, and perhaps allowing a convincing argument to open your mind to new possibilities?  That would be refreshing.

                         

                        Check the State Lottery Report Card
                        What grade did your lottery earn?

                         

                        Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
                        Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                          jimmy4164's avatar - andy warhol.jpg
                          State of Mind
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                          Posted: March 3, 2011, 2:16 pm - IP Logged

                          How strange.  You started this discussion by posting your opinion.

                          This is a forum.  It is where people come to debate and discuss, not where someone can stand on a soap box without allowing a differing opinon to be expressed.  You can use your blog if that's all you're interested in doing.

                          It seems that when it appears your argument does not hold the same weight as those with the opposite opinion, instead of saying, "Hey, you have a point, maybe I didn't think this through," you try to shift to a different, unrelated point and allow your obfuscation to mask your less-than-convincing argument.

                          Instead of posting a "Woe is me" comment, how about giving props to the other side, and perhaps allowing a convincing argument to open your mind to new possibilities?  That would be refreshing.

                          I hear you!  The intensity of your reaction to my opinion on privatizing the Missouri lottery causes me to suspect there are unspoken prior issues at work here.  Do you feel me?

                          ------------------------------------

                          "No one wins. One side just loses more slowly."  Prez

                            Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                            Chief Bottle Washer
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                            Posted: March 3, 2011, 2:21 pm - IP Logged

                            I hear you!  The intensity of your reaction to my opinion on privatizing the Missouri lottery causes me to suspect there are unspoken prior issues at work here.  Do you feel me?

                            ------------------------------------

                            "No one wins. One side just loses more slowly."  Prez

                            No, I don't feel you, because you're making up a reaction that did not take place.  I have been the furthest thing from "intense" in my reaction.  I am much more dogged and logical than intense.

                            Again, you are trying to shift the discussion away from the point in order to mask the weakness of your argument.

                             

                            Check the State Lottery Report Card
                            What grade did your lottery earn?

                             

                            Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
                            Help eliminate computerized drawings!