Oklahoma Lottery Commission officials said Monday instant lottery tickets should still go on sale in October, despite an unexpected delay in obtaining loan funds for the state's new lottery operation.
The commission is negotiating with lenders for a line of credit of up to $10 million to get the lottery off the ground.
Gary Bush, bond attorney, told the panel that after the loan is approved by the state Council on Bond Oversight, it goes to the attorney general for approval and then a 30-day "cooling off" period is required by state law before the transaction can be completed.
Bush said after the 30 days, the commission cannot be sued over the loan. He said as things now stand, the commission may not get the loan funds until mid-August.
Jim Orbison, commission chairman, said the loan is a straight forward transaction permitted by the state lottery question and he does not anticipate it will face a legal challenge.
Officials said one of the lending institutions is seeking additional financial information before approving the loan.
In order to speed up the loan process, the commission scheduled meetings for Friday and next Tuesday to vote on the loan.
James Scroggins, executive director of the lottery, said the delay does not threaten the effort to have instant lottery tickets available for sale in October.
Orbison said the commission also hopes to begin online lottery sales by November, earlier than originally expected.
In other action, the commission held an executive session to settle on request-for-proposal forms for lottery games, which will become public as soon as the forms are posted on the Department of Central Services Web site.
The commission has already obligated most of the $500,000 appropriation it received from the Legislature, but will hold expenditures down until it gets additional financing, officials said.
The commission voted to spend up to $10,000 on an interagency contract with the University of Oklahoma Center for Business Management to produce a database of retailers who will sell lottery tickets.
Commissioners also voted to have a subcommittee review 13 firms that are seeking to provide legal services to the new agency and make a recommendation to the full panel.