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Lottery shipments confusing to Oklahoma retailer

Oklahoma LotteryOklahoma Lottery: Lottery shipments confusing to Oklahoma retailer

For a guy prohibited from participating in the Oklahoma lottery, Nels Bentson sure has a bunch of tickets that say otherwise.

The shipments keep coming, along with calls from lottery representatives asking how his sales are going.

Confused? So is Bentson.

Bentson owns 11 Cashland payday loan stores throughout Oklahoma.

He spent $1,045 last summer on application fees to become a lottery retailer and says he invested an extra $3,400 to send employees to the mandatory training sessions.

On Oct. 11, the day before scratch-off tickets went on sale, the Oklahoma Lottery Commission banned businesses like Bentson's from selling tickets.

Its oversight board also prohibited sales in pawn shops and check-cashing businesses, saying the commission didn't want to be seen as preying on the poor.

Though he doesn't agree with that reasoning, Bentson said he accepts the decision.

What he doesn't understand is why his stores received certificates three days later authorizing them as official lottery retailers. Or why the lottery's Web site still lists his stores as authorized ticket locations. Or why lottery tickets are still showing up at his stores.

In the past two weeks, the commission sent boxes of holiday-themed scratch-off tickets to Cashland locations in Edmond, Tulsa and Midwest City.

Each contained $5,400 in tickets and a letter signed by the commission's executive director, Jim Scroggins.

"I might just pass them out to people on the street," Bentson joked.

Actually, the tickets are worthless unless validated by the Lottery Commission.

Based on his experience so far, he thinks the commission staff might just validate his stash by mistake.

Scroggins said an assistant attorney general had advised him not to comment on the situation because Bentson has threatened a lawsuit.

Bentson recently sent the commission a letter demanding $4,475 for his application fees and for wages and mileage he paid for his store managers to attend lottery training.

He remembers the oversight board's chairman saying in October that application fees for stores like Bentson's would receive an immediate refund. Bentson is still waiting.

As of Nov. 16, lottery sales had raised more than $11 million for public education funding. Bentson views stores like his as the perfect spot for sales because of the volume of financial transactions they handle each day with few problems.

But after what he's seen the last six weeks, "I want no part of them."

"And this is what we're trusting to pay for the education of our children?" Bentson asked.

Oklahoman

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5 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by CASH Only.
Page 1 of 1

United States
Member #379
June 5, 2002
11296 Posts
Offline
Posted: November 28, 2005, 9:53 am - IP Logged

Why did it take so long for the state to rule he could not sell tickets? He should be refunded every penny.

    bellyache's avatar - 64x64a9wg

    United States
    Member #12618
    March 18, 2005
    2060 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: November 28, 2005, 1:00 pm - IP Logged

    Yeah he should get his money back or they should let him sell the tickets in his business. Although I would never purchase scrath-offs from a payday loan business, seeing as I never go those places.

    Dance like no one is watching.


      United States
      Member #379
      June 5, 2002
      11296 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: November 28, 2005, 1:51 pm - IP Logged

      Yeah he should get his money back or they should let him sell the tickets in his business. Although I would never purchase scrath-offs from a payday loan business, seeing as I never go those places.

      Take 'em to court!

        bellyache's avatar - 64x64a9wg

        United States
        Member #12618
        March 18, 2005
        2060 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: November 28, 2005, 2:00 pm - IP Logged

        Yeah he should get his money back or they should let him sell the tickets in his business. Although I would never purchase scrath-offs from a payday loan business, seeing as I never go those places.

        Take 'em to court!

        He probably will if the lottery commission doesn't refund his money or let him sell in his businesses.

        Dance like no one is watching.


          United States
          Member #379
          June 5, 2002
          11296 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: November 30, 2005, 1:19 pm - IP Logged

          To me the solution is to give him his money back. I can't see the state breaking its own law.