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Texas lottery director stands firm amid attacks

Jul 8, 2005, 11:33 am

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Texas LotteryTexas Lottery: Texas lottery director stands firm amid attacks

Reagan Greer, the Texas Lottery Commission's embattled executive director who signed off on four inflated Lotto jackpots, shows no sign he will cave in to pressure and resign.

Greer has asked the state auditor to conduct an investigation into the agency's policies and practices, particularly in personnel matters.

"I would like your office to provide me with an objective perspective on these matters, including any recommendations you might have to improve our agency in this area," Greer said in part in a letter to the state auditor, dated Wednesday.

Greer, a former Bexar County district clerk, has come under intense fire since acknowleding two weeks ago that he approved inflated Texas Lotto jackpots in an effort to boost sluggish ticket sales.

Top officials had received warnings from staff on at least two occasions that the Lotto jackpots advertised on billboards might be less than depressed ticket sales could pay out.

The agency's three commissioners will meet on Monday and are likely to discuss Greer's possible dismissal. At least four other agency officials may be reassigned.

Greer has not given interviews and did not immediately respond to a request for comment made through the agency's spokesman.

State Auditor John Keel said he was reviewing Greer's request and would respond to it in the next few days.

In a staff meeting, Texas lottery deputy executive director Gary Grief said nothing has changed with the agency's personnel policies.

"I want you all to know that dismissal from the agency without warning, without any documentation, without any progressive disciplinary action, that's the exception, and that's not the rule," Grief said.

Lawmakers on the committee said recent dismissals by the commission were seemingly without just cause or fair warning.

Committee chairman and state Rep. Ismael Flores, D-Palmview, blamed the lottery's problems on management.

He criticized Grief's comments, saying, "He was very respectful, he measured his words, he definitely sought legal counsel. But what was being said was in defiance."

Lottery commissioners may meet in executive session July 11 to "deliberate the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline or dismissal" of Greer, according to an agenda posted last week.

The notice also indicated the commission may discuss the reassignment of Grief and up to five other officials and the appointment of an acting executive director.

According to the posted agenda, the commission also plans to discuss changing the rules for the Lotto Texas game and changing procedures for estimating and advertising jackpots for all Texas Lottery games.

The inflation came to light after a long-time critic of the Texas Lottery filed a complaint with Attorney General Greg Abbott.

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8 comments. Last comment 15 years ago by Drivedabizness.
Page 1 of 1
johnph77's avatar - avatar
United States
Member #2987
December 10, 2003
832 Posts
Posted: July 8, 2005, 12:40 pm - IP Logged

The executive director of any organization should know what's going on regarding that organization's policy, indeed, in most instances, he would set that policy. Mr. Greer had to know the organization was inflating the jackpot value through their advertising, there was no way he couldn't know. If he wasn't responsible for setting this policy he did nothing about it when the effects of the policy, whether positive or negative, took place.

If the executive director discovered any malfeasance and/or misconduct in the performance of an upper-level employee in that organization he should have taken appropriate action. Period. That's part of his job as executive director.

One can liken the position of executive director to the captain of a ship - the captain might not be totally aware of all the machinations and tasks necessary to keep the ship  in operation but he damned well better know where the ship is headed and what time it is due there.

I have no sympathy or pity for Mr. Greer.

Blessed Saint Leibowitz, keep 'em dreamin' down there..... 

Next week's convention for Psychics and Prognosticators has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.


    United States
    Member #379
    June 5, 2002
    11296 Posts
    Posted: July 8, 2005, 4:35 pm - IP Logged

    I don't blame him.

      LANTERN's avatar - kilroy 28_173_reasonably_small.jpg
      United States
      Member #4570
      May 4, 2004
      5180 Posts
      Posted: July 8, 2005, 9:42 pm - IP Logged

      So when are we getting our new 6/49 no bonus ball Texas Lotto and pick 4 games ?

      Soon, I hope !

      BibleOnline  ParishesOnline  ChristianRadioOnline   MassOnline   Mass

      "Ten measures of beauty descended to the world, nine were taken by Jerusalem."

        United States
        Member #379
        June 5, 2002
        11296 Posts
        Posted: July 9, 2005, 10:35 am - IP Logged

        6/49 is too small for TX.

          United States
          Member #1424
          April 25, 2003
          696 Posts
          Posted: July 9, 2005, 11:00 am - IP Logged

          Should go back to the old 6-50 game and call it Classic Lotto like they do in Michigan.  Set the first prize at $1,000,000 cash and let it roll from there.  Add a Megaplier-style  function to the thing to raise extra money and set the 3 pick at $5.  No annunity offered! 

          Orangeman                                  Smash

            United States
            Member #379
            June 5, 2002
            11296 Posts
            Posted: July 11, 2005, 9:37 am - IP Logged

            6/53 or 6/54.

              United States
              Member #7853
              October 15, 2004
              11350 Posts
              Posted: July 16, 2005, 5:27 am - IP Logged

              i wonder why texas has never had a pick 4?

                Northern California
                United States
                Member #19947
                August 9, 2005
                153 Posts
                Posted: August 16, 2005, 3:32 pm - IP Logged



                You're on drugs, right?  Take any major state lotto game and drop the starting jackpot down to a million dollars.  While you're at it, kiss a big chunk of your game sales and profits goodbye (I've made my living in this business - designing games for lotteries including Texas for over 15 years). No one will play a game that starts at a million ini a state the size of Texas.  Have you actually seen what happens to sales at the 3 - 4 million level?  Do you have any idea how many draws it will take to roll to a level where sales pick up? (evidently not)  Do you have any idea what kind of matrix you'de need to get those kinds of rolls?  Why would you invite people not to play for even more draws out of the year?  It doesn't make any sense...

                As far as Megaplier, SciGames is already suing (and threatened to sue Texas) anyone who uses a multiplier feature.  This will all come out in the wash later in the courts but one has to wonder if a company can enforce patents on anything that was already being used when the patent was issued.


                Was our good friend Dawn Nettles the "lottery watchdog" refered to in these articles.  One of the more stupid people I ever met in my life.  She actually asked me  once at a "town hall" meeting in front of hundreds of retailers why, with top prize odds of 1:1000, Texas didn't pay $1000 instead of $500 on Pick 3.  I actually had to explain (and boy did I enjoy it) that retailers have to get their percentage of sales, the state has to get their's, and the lottery does need some money to run the games.  In other words, that top prizes (or any prize in a fixed prize game) tends to be odds times the prize tier percentage (i.e. 1000 X 50% or $500).  She also demanded detailed sales data when TX was deciding if and which multi-state game to join so she could do her own analysis.  When they would ask her what she thought about which game to join, she kept saying "I haven't completed my analysis" - she couldn't analyze a coin toss.  For the life of me, given her demonstrated extreme lack of knowledge (stupidity) why anyone, especially the press, listens to a word she says is beyond me.



                Texas never had a Pick 4 because it would probably canabalize Pick 3 by a bunch with limited net upside - there has also been an "official/unofficial" policy that the governor does not want them to increase the net number of games they offer because that would be considered "an expansion of gaming".


                You know, for a bunch of smart people, I have never heard that kind of anal BS anywhere else but Texas. 


                For all the crap, its still a great lottery.