The Oklahoma Lottery Commission may have found a home for an agency expected to employ more than 100 workers.
Commissioners voted to start negotiations with the owners of Centennial Business Plaza, 3815 N Santa Fe, choosing that building from three prospective sites.
Commissioners spent an hour privately discussing the sites, all in Oklahoma City. Upon returning, they declined to disclose specifics, including the proposed lease rate for each site.
The vote was unanimous to have state Leasing Director Randy Parrish negotiate a lease with the building owners, subject to the commission's final approval.
Centennial Business Plaza was picked over First National Tower downtown and Broadway Business Park at Wilshire and Broadway Extension.
The commission hasn't decided whether to lease space in other cities for satellite offices. Some states employ regional offices because federal rules require winning lottery tickets exceeding $600 to be redeemed by mail or at a lottery office rather than at a retail location.
Commissioners also voted Monday to spend up to $114,000 through June, with nearly half going to the executive director they hired last week.
Jim Scroggins, who has the same job in Missouri, will start work here about June 3. His contract calls for a $30,000 signing bonus, monthly pay of $14,583, use of a car and benefits.
Rollo Redburn, deputy state finance director, estimated immediate expenditures for Scroggins at $55,000.
Other expenses include $25,000 for computers, $12,000 for supplies, $1,000 in rent, $1,000 for Internet connections and $20,000 for extensive background checks on up to four department heads Scroggins is to hire.
Available to the commission is $500,000 lent by the Legislature. That money must be repaid within two years. Commissioners also are seeking interim financing to pay other expenses through October or November, when the first lottery tickets are expected to be sold.
In other action
Redburn said he has received 30 responses from the commission's ads for outside legal counsel. Commissioners want lottery experts for legal advice beyond the expertise of the attorney general's office.
Commissioner Ron Norick said his research found that two potential lottery domain names, oklottery.com and oklahoma lottery.com, are owned in Japan.
Commissioners could challenge that ownership, he said.