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Illinois legislator urges Gov. to fire company running the lottery

May 15, 2014, 12:13 pm

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Illinois LotteryIllinois Lottery: Illinois legislator urges Gov. to fire company running the lotteryRating:

Northstar disagrees, says revenue targets met

Citing nearly three years of lackluster performance, an Illinois state lawmaker is urging Governor Pat Quinn to fire the company his administration hired to run the Illinois Lottery.

State Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo, said the state's contract with Northstar Lottery Group has cost taxpayers hundreds of millions in lost revenues due to the firm's failure to meet revenue goals.

"The privatization of the Illinois State Lottery has been nothing less than a disaster" for taxpayers, Franks said at a press conference Wednesday at the state capitol. "(It) is time for the Illinois State Lottery and Northstar to go their separate ways, and for this to happen, Governor Quinn needs to step up and lead."

Northstar took over the lottery in 2011 and has defended its performance, pointing out that it has brought in record revenues compared to the lottery's record when the state managed the operation. Nonetheless, the company has not come close to providing the revenue it promised in its winning bid for the contract.

In March, Lottery officials said Northstar was on track to post lower revenues than promised for the third straight year unless it doubled weekly sales for the remainder of the fiscal year ending June 30. The firm is expected to fall more than $440 million short of what it promised the state over the first three years of the contract.

Meanwhile, Northstar and its parent companies have been paid approximately $100 million a year to manage and provide products for the lottery, Franks said.

Franks said the governor should do all he can to ensure better production from the lottery before he asks for tax hikes. "The governor needs to stand with the people on this issue, not with a bad decision he made three years ago," he said.

A spokesperson for Quinn said his office was "closely monitoring the situation" and expects both Northstar and the lottery to follow the contract "in good faith and to protect taxpayers at all times."

Northstar spokeswoman Avis LaVelle said Franks' criticism is unfounded and that the firm's success in Illinois has led other states to hire private companies to manage their lotteries.

The company, she said, also has paid almost $60 million in financial penalties to the state for failing to meet revenue targets.

"As a result, the state has received every dollar (it was) guaranteed," she said in a written statement. "Northstar has succeeded in growing revenues for the State and has built a strong foundation for even greater success in the future."

Chicago Tribune

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5 comments. Last comment 7 years ago by Coin Toss.
Page 1 of 1
rdgrnr's avatar - walt
Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
United States
Member #73902
April 28, 2009
14903 Posts

An Illinois politician complaining of someone else's incompetence and saying they should be fired for it, lol.

That's funny.

    RedStang's avatar - laughing chimp.gif
    United States
    Member #121957
    January 21, 2012
    3169 Posts

    I think it's obvious why revenues are down. These companys meet their quota by printing thousands of losing tickets then the players realize this and give up.

      dallascowboyfan's avatar - chi
      United States
      Member #82389
      November 12, 2009
      6371 Posts

      An Illinois politician complaining of someone else's incompetence and saying they should be fired for it, lol.

      That's funny.

      Yes it is LOL Big GrinROFLLOL

      I Love Pink & Green 1908


        United States
        Member #141030
        April 2, 2013
        1481 Posts

        Illinois politics is gutter politics. Maybe there is a Patel or two, lurking around somewhere in the shadows.Scared

        Seek and ye shall find -Matt. 7:7 ...Ask and ye shall receive -John 16:24 ...Give and it shall be given unto you -Luke 6:38 ...Be careful what you ask for!!! -Mypiemaster 1:1

        Having Money Solves Problems That Not Having Money Creates Yes Nod ****John Carlton****

          Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
          Zeta Reticuli Star System
          United States
          Member #30469
          January 17, 2006
          11508 Posts

          Get rid of Northstar and turn it back to state control but keep Chicago out of it.

          The state capital is Springfield.

          The Illinois Gaming Board, Illinois lottery headquarters, and the drawings are in Chicago.

          Tell you anything?


          The dog barks in Chicago and wags its tail in Springfield

          Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any. So many systems, so many theories, so few jackpot winners. 


          There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.