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N.J. considering privatizing lottery

New Jersey LotteryNew Jersey Lottery: N.J. considering privatizing lottery
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Gov. Corzine approach to N.J. financial woes:  sell everything, including the lottery 

State officials are studying whether selling the New Jersey Lottery to a private company can reap big money for cash-strapped state coffers, Treasurer Bradley Abelow said yesterday.

Abelow said letting a private firm buy the lottery — and collect its substantial winnings — is one idea gaining favor as part of a year-long review of whether the state should sell or lease public assets such as the New Jersey Turnpike.

Selling the Turnpike and other toll roads remains high on the list of proposals under consideration, he said. The state also is considering selling other transportation assets such as the land around train stations to help end the state's fiscal woes.

"We're glancing at everything," Abelow said. "What we've found is there's a lot of stuff that deserves deeper analysis. It was a lot more than we anticipated."

Abelow stressed it will probably be at least six months before his staff will be able to analyze the more complex plans like a Turnpike sale before making recommendations to Gov. Jon Corzine.

The treasurer said details of any lottery transaction are far from resolved, and he could not estimate the potential take from such a deal except to say the revenue "would have to be well in excess of what we enjoy today."

The state currently controls the lottery and uses a private firm to operate the lottery machines. Selling the entire lottery could provide the state with a huge windfall, and the buyer could get its annual revenues.

In Illinois, Gov. Rod Blagojevich floated the idea in May of raising $10 billion by selling his state's lottery, which earns about $600 million annually. To date, however, lawmakers have not taken up his plan.

No U.S. state has tried such a deal, Abelow said, but Italy and Greece have sold off portions of their lotteries, reaping millions.

This year, the state plans to take in about $836 million from the lottery, making it one of its largest sources of revenue. The money is used to help fund colleges and universities and programs for school nutrition, veterans and those with physical disabilities and mental illness. The lottery sells tickets through 6,100 merchants.

Three months ago, Corzine directed Abelow to conduct a 90-day study of public holdings that might be ripe for use as revenue generators. Since then, the state has paid financial giant UBS $65,000 to manage the study and conduct weekly meetings with Abeleow, Transportation Commissioner Kris Kolluri and others.

The idea of selling or renting out public holdings was first floated last year, when then- Gov. Richard Codey suggested it might be possible to realize billions by selling operating rights to the New Jersey Turnpike.

That proposal, and similar plans for the Atlantic City Expressway, the Garden State Parkway and other transportation assets, remain at the heart of the ongoing discussion, Abelow said.

Some assets, such as beaches, parks, prisons and airports, have been largely ruled out as likely candidates for sale or lease because state officials have determined they would not attract bidders or have concluded they would be too complicated to package for private management, Abelow said.

One money-raising idea has been rejected entirely. There won't be a corporate sponsor for the New Jersey Statehouse like there are for sports stadiums and arenas.

"We've explicitly excluded Statehouse naming rights," Abelow said.

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17 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by rdc137.
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LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
Tennessee
United States
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Posted: November 2, 2006, 9:34 am - IP Logged

wasn't illinois going to do something similar to this.this doesn't sound like such a good idea.gives me visions of computerized drawings and other nonsense....

    CCHS13's avatar - chi jpeg.jpg
    Illinois
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    September 23, 2006
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    Posted: November 2, 2006, 11:56 am - IP Logged

    Illinois was going to do this??  I didnt hear about that, how long ago?

    If the state is in financial trouble raking in a billion per year something is

    wrong.  Who's to say their financial woes wont cause them to manipulate

    the game for their own money making purposes.  What if their was no lottery

    where would their billion per come from then?  This is sad    What?

    Men Lie Women Lie Numbers Dont

      Rick G's avatar - avatar 1766.jpg
      FEMA Region V Camp #21
      United States
      Member #520
      July 27, 2002
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      Posted: November 2, 2006, 12:34 pm - IP Logged

      Illinois was going to do this??  I didnt hear about that, how long ago?

      If the state is in financial trouble raking in a billion per year something is

      wrong.  Who's to say their financial woes wont cause them to manipulate

      the game for their own money making purposes.  What if their was no lottery

      where would their billion per come from then?  This is sad    What?

      Yes, CCHS...we can thank Rod B. for this hare-brained idea (about 6 months ago).  I don't think the IL legislature will go along with it but if they do, they will lose one player here.

      Sad to see that other states are actually considering this.  But NJ doesn't surprise me.  The governor has already demonstrated how he feels about his gambling revenue...he doesn't give squat.  He should spend more time thinking of the money being spent and less time on the cash flow coming in.

      That guy is a walking brain tumor. 

      Posted 4/6:  IL Pick 3 midday and evening until they hit:  555, 347 (str8).


        Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
        Chief Bottle Washer
        New Jersey
        United States
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        May 31, 2000
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        Posted: November 2, 2006, 1:06 pm - IP Logged
          Avatar
          Columbia City, Indiana
          United States
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          December 9, 2003
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          Posted: November 2, 2006, 3:17 pm - IP Logged

          This alarming trend toward privatization of public works and agencies should be a clear indication of the ineptitude and general disassociation of our elected leaders.

          Basically, they're throwing their hands in the air and screaming, "We can't do this job; we should sell our states' assets and let someone else worry about them!" 

          There's an article in today's issue of IndyStar.com (the online edition of the Indianapolis Star) about our governor's two million dollar makeover of a mansion he bought in a gated community in Hamilton County. He just finished a privately-funded, two million dollar renovation of the governor's mansion in the state capitol, but he refuses to live there! It remains empty for most of the year, except on certain holidays when the public expects him to be there. Not that it matters, but Indiana's constitution requires our governor to live in Indianapolis, which is in Marion County, not Hamilton County. No one has asked where all the money is coming from, but we know, don't we?

          The real question, the one we should all be asking is, "Just what the heck is going on here?" If more of us don't start asking questions of the people we elect to represent us, I'm afraid it won't be long until congressional seats begin popping up on eBay for sale to the highest bidder. If they're going to sell certain state and federal public works to global corporations anyway, why not just privatize our entire government and have done with it?

          It's obvious they're not going to stop behaving this way, so it's up to us to put a stop to it. Next Tuesday is election day. Regardless of whether you're conservative or liberal, I encourage each of you to vote with your conscience, and not with your heart. 

          Come, Pinky; we must prepare for tomorrow night...

          Jim

            LosingJeff's avatar - flower
            Greenfield
            United States
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            February 2, 2004
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            Posted: November 2, 2006, 3:49 pm - IP Logged

            Well said Jim!

            " FUN IS BAD " ----causes Bankruptcy

              Avatar
              Columbia City, Indiana
              United States
              Member #2978
              December 9, 2003
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              Posted: November 2, 2006, 3:51 pm - IP Logged

              Sorry about the link. Here's the URL: http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?aid=/20061102/local/611020443&GID=+YbKzfsEExFmouU2PoO6RrsWJwiJbCgbNPu6q7Og7oQ%3D. If this doesn't work, just copy & paste to your browser. It's an interesting article...

              Come, Pinky; we must prepare for tomorrow night...

              Jim

                Avatar
                Delaware
                United States
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                January 14, 2006
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                Posted: November 2, 2006, 11:06 pm - IP Logged

                Welcome to New Jersey: For Sale by Owner

                  BobP's avatar - bobp avatar.png
                  Dump Water Florida
                  United States
                  Member #380
                  June 5, 2002
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                  Posted: November 3, 2006, 2:28 am - IP Logged

                  Begs the question, how they intend to get around the fact private lotteries are illegal. 

                  Kill the goose that lays the daily golden egg, way to go New Jersey !

                  BobP

                    CCHS13's avatar - chi jpeg.jpg
                    Illinois
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                    September 23, 2006
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                    Posted: November 3, 2006, 2:54 am - IP Logged

                    Thanks Todd and Rick G for the info    I Agree!

                    Men Lie Women Lie Numbers Dont

                      floridian's avatar - DiscoBallGlowing

                      United States
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                      August 28, 2006
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                      Posted: November 3, 2006, 10:51 am - IP Logged

                      I totally agree with Rick G.  I am not of course from this state but a lot of states like New Jersey are suffering from the population shift (to the South) that is taking away state revenues.

                      The politicians who adorn the palaces of pure thought want to continue to spend state money as they always have without any regard for the revenues losses.

                      So I guess it makes perfect sense to sell everything until there is nothing left to sell.  Then declare insolvency and fall on the national taxpayer to bail them out.  What a country.

                      I keep thinking that politicians are going to wake up one day and start using their heads for something other than to house rocks.  However, that it seems is just not going to happen.  That is what you get when you leave lawyers and thieves in control.  Maybe that is the same person!!

                      Floridian 

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                        Posted: November 3, 2006, 11:09 pm - IP Logged

                        I am concerned that privatization would change how numbers are drawn i.e. computerized? or other factors that would severely hamper my algorithms, or that privatization would mean it's easier to fix the outcome. I already feel like that about casinos and thus I visit rarely.

                          Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                          Chief Bottle Washer
                          New Jersey
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                          Posted: November 3, 2006, 11:23 pm - IP Logged

                          I am concerned that privatization would change how numbers are drawn i.e. computerized? or other factors that would severely hamper my algorithms, or that privatization would mean it's easier to fix the outcome. I already feel like that about casinos and thus I visit rarely.

                          Excellent point.  Who's to say we wouldn't get stuck with a computerized nightmare?

                           

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                            NASHVILLE, TENN
                            United States
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                            February 20, 2006
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                            Posted: November 4, 2006, 5:51 am - IP Logged

                                The main and only purpose of a state lottory was to increase the revenue of that state.  A lottory was just another tax on people willing to be taxed.

                                How can NJ justify selling off a source of revenue?  Can I "buy" the property tax receipts of NJ?  Does NJ have the right to sell off tax revenue? 

                                I suppose they do.  If a state or town or county can take any property away from a citizen and sell that property to another citizen, then states have evolved into a tryanny and can do what they please. 

                                What I don't understand is how incumbents managed to get re-elected.  Are they "stealing" the election?  They must be!