New York has taken a step toward privatizing the state lottery. The state's Budget Division has started the process of hiring an independent investment adviser to guide Gov. Eliot Spitzer's proposal.
Spitzer wants to open the lottery to private investors, using money made on a potential lease to start and sustain an endowment funding the State University of New York system. Spitzer has said any offer must include at least $4 billion in upfront payments.
The Budget Division is seeking a financial adviser to analyze options for a lottery lease, research ways to maximize the lottery's value and develop a bid and negotiation process for a lottery lease.
"We must do an analysis and get a fair price," said division spokesman Jeffrey Gordon.
Bids on the position are due by Feb. 25, and a contract is expected to be awarded in mid-March, according to state documents. Aides have said at least 10 major investment banks have expressed interest in the contract.
Spitzer has said any lease must maintain the state's oversight and audit authorities of the lottery.