Greek company wins competition by offering $200 million in savings
The Ohio Lottery is planning to turn over control of some of its best-known games — Pick 3, Pick 4, Mega Millions and the upcoming Keno game — to an international company that's projected to save the lottery $200 million over 10 years.
Lottery officials approved a contract with Intralot, a Greek company with U.S. headquarters near Atlanta, to replace Gtech Corp. of Rhode Island beginning in June 2009.
Gtech has been running most of the Ohio Lottery's computerized games since 1985. It also landed the initial contract to install the Keno game at hundreds of bars and other businesses this summer.
Intralot edged Gtech and another company, Scientific Games International of New York, for a contract to run the lottery's online games and instant-ticket vending machines.
Intralot offered lower sales rates and savings on communication services and the bundling of equipment, amounting to about $200 million over 10 years, lottery officials said.
"It was a competitive process," said lottery Director Michael A. Dolan. "It was blind scoring. Because of the competitiveness of the proposals that were submitted, Intralot came to us with a technological solution that's as good or better and a price that's extremely competitive."
Lotto players are unlikely to notice much of a difference, although Intralot will upgrade the communication backbone from telephone lines to satellites, Dolan said. That could shorten wait times at stores besieged by players when jackpots are high.
In March 2007, Gtech's system broke down during a record-breaking Mega Millions jackpot, and the company refunded about $50,000 to the Ohio Lottery.
Dolan said that, overall, Gtech has served the Ohio Lottery well.
A Gtech spokesman, Robert Vincent, said company officials plan to scrutinize how the Ohio Lottery rated the three competing companies.
"Obviously, this is a disappointment," Vincent said. "We're proud of how we've conducted ourselves with the Ohio Lottery."
An Intralot spokesman could not be reached for comment.
Dolan said that Intralot will be able to manage most of the lottery's equipment — including the 2,000 Keno terminals being purchased from Gtech — with few glitches.
The Intralot contract is scheduled to go before the state Controlling Board — a panel of legislators that considers major spending requests — June 2. Once that happens, the competing proposals will be released for public review, lottery officials said