Arkansas Lottery director hires core management staff
Outcry over high salaries; Director defends
Ernie Passailaigue, who started his job two weeks ago as executive director of the Arkansas Lottery Commission, has been steadily hiring employees to fill core management positions, while defending the high salaries he is giving the new staff.
Before the hiring commenced, a legislative committee signed off ealier this month on the newly hired lottery chief's plan to pay his top deputies more than $200,000 each.
Passailaigue asked legislators t ...
Jul 15, 2009, 11:53 am - Lottery News forum
Arkansas Lottery director scrutinized over staffing plans
Just a few days into his job running Arkansas' lottery, Ernie Passailaigue is already sounding like a man under siege.
In his first appearance before lawmakers as the state lottery's executive director, Passailaigue complained that reporters were focusing only on the negative and the trivial. And he says the public won't understand what goes into setting up the lottery from scratch.
Passailaigue took a defensive tone last week as he explained his plan to create 88 positions for the new gam ...
Jul 7, 2009, 10:29 am - Lottery News forum
Arkansas Lottery Commission votes to join Powerball
The Arkansas Lottery Commission voted Wednesday to join the multi-state Powerball games, tickets for which may go on sale in the state as soon as this year, the state's lottery director said.
The commission accepted an invitation from the Multi-State Lottery Association and the Powerball Group to join Powerball, which is played in 30 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
State Lottery Director Ernie Passailaigue said previously he expected Arkansas to start selling Powerba ...
Jul 2, 2009, 5:46 am - Lottery News forum
Arkansas Gov. and new lottery director meet
Prelude of coming battle over Keno
The head of the Arkansas state lottery and Gov. Mike Beebe met for the first time Monday but didn't talk much about their differences on keno.
Executive Director Ernie Passailaigue's meeting with the governor came five days after Beebe told reporters he would oppose keno being instituted in Arkansas as a state lottery game.
Passailaigue has said he envisioned keno being played in bars and restaurants by people watching monitors for winning numbers that ...
Jun 30, 2009, 8:39 am - Lottery News forum
Arkansas lottery director turns down $11,000 housing allowance
The incoming head of Arkansas' lottery, set to be one of the highest-paid lottery directors in the country, didn't take all the cash offered him.
Ernie Passailaigue's $324,000-a-year salary was just part of the deal when he was hired June 5. The Arkansas Lottery Commission chairman, Ray Thornton of Little Rock, also directed the state to pay $980 a month for a year $11,760 total for housing support for Passailaigue.
But Passailaigue turned it down. He said that during negotiations for the ...
Jun 25, 2009, 2:18 am - Lottery News forum
Quick decision: New Ark. Lottery chief recommends Powerball
The newly hired director of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery says he is recommending that the State Lottery Commission accept an invitation by Powerball to join the multi-state lottery known for its often soaring jackpots.
Ernie Passailaigue says he hopes the state begins selling scratch off tickets by October 29th and selling Powerball tickets by early 2010.
Passailaigue says he believes once the lottery is up and running Arkansas could see $1.5 million a day in sales.
But another pote ...
Jun 25, 2009, 12:13 am - Lottery News forum
Arkansas Lottery targets Oct. 29 for first ticket sales
Drawing games will start later in the year
The Arkansas Lottery Commission set official target dates Friday for the first lottery tickets to go on sale: Oct. 29 for instant-win, scratch-off tickets and Dec. 14 for tickets for drawing games.
The commission also approved spending up to $30,000 to buy a car for newly hired executive director Ernie Passailaigue, who officially starts July 1 but has already been working to get Arkansas' lottery started.
Two requests for proposals, or RFPs, t ...
Jun 22, 2009, 12:17 am - Lottery News forum
Arkansas Lottery hires away S.C. director
New director is 3rd highest-paid in U.S.
The Arkansas Lottery Commission has hired Ernie Passailaigue, the director of the South Carolina lottery, to lead the formation of Arkansas' newly approved lottery program.
He will start the job July 1 and be paid a salary of $324,000. It's possible that lottery ticket sales could begin as early as October.
Passailaigue (pronounced Pass'-a-laig) is a past president of the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, a lottery tra ...
Jun 18, 2009, 9:47 pm - Lottery News forum
Ark. Lottery Commission meets, discusses director candidates
The Arkansas Lottery Commission got a little closer, with emphasis on little, to naming an executive director.
The newly-formed commission met in Little Rock, and commssion chief Ray Thornton told members that the list of applicants for the position currently stands at 55.
That number does not include previous applicant Tom Courtway, interim president at the University of Central Arkansas, who has withdrawn his name from consideration.
The commission opted not to rely on a hiring commit ...
Jun 2, 2009, 8:12 am - Lottery News forum
Arkansas lottery retailers to be policed for fraud, officials say
The legislation laying the groundwork for Arkansas' lottery does not require it, but officials say they expect the lottery system to include a security division that will be on the lookout for fraud by retailers.
The problem of fraud by lottery retailers gained new attention in the U.S. in the wake of a 2007 scandal in Canada, where investigators found that retailers and their employees were winning a disproportionately large number of prizes.
Between 1999 and 2006, at least 78 retail owne ...
May 19, 2009, 8:32 am - Lottery News forum