CHEYENNE, Wyo. — In a major step toward getting a statewide lottery up and running, the Wyoming Lottery Corp. board on Friday selected international gaming giant Intralot as the state's lottery vendor, pending negotiation of a contract with the company.
Intralot, based in Athens, Greece, would provide the machines from which Powerball and Mega Millions tickets would be purchased as well as other technical services.
Board chairman Brian Scott Gamroth said the step provides a "light at the end of the tunnel," but it's still too soon to give an exact date of when people can start buying lottery tickets in Wyoming.
"Now that we have a vendor in place, as long as we get through these negotiations and the quicker we make it through the negotiations the quicker that we can get started," Gamroth said. "So that too will make a big difference on our start date as far as the lottery goes."
Officials have said they hope to have the lottery operating sometime later this year.
Messages left with Intralot officials were not immediately returned Friday.
The lottery is expected to gross about $25 million in Wyoming, netting about $6 million a year after expenses and prizes. The first $6 million of proceeds will go to local governments. Anything above goes to a school fund.
Wyoming Lottery CEO Jon Clontz said Intralot was among three major gaming vendors that submitted proposals. The others were GTECH and Scientific Games, both also international gaming vendors.
Clontz said Intralot's bid scored the highest.
Under Intralot's proposal, the company would take 11.89 percent of lottery ticket sales as its compensation, he said.
"We approached our evaluation and scoring in an industry-standard way and worked hard to maintain the integrity of the process throughout the entire effort," Clontz said.
The board approved entering into negotiations with Intralot on a 7-1 vote.
Board member Jim Griffin of Casper voted against it, saying he wasn't comfortable with the rate Intralot proposed.
Clontz said contract negotiations with Intralot are scheduled to begin next week. Intralot's U.S. subsidiary is based in Duluth, Ga.
Besides the negotiations with Intralot, other work that remains to be done before lottery tickets sales begin includes selecting an advertising firm as well as specific locations for where the lottery machines will be placed.