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Illinois Lottery's private manager faces 2nd lawsuit alleging fraud

Mar 25, 2017, 3:34 pm

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A second lawsuit has been filed accusing the Illinois Lottery's private manager of defrauding players after an investigation found the lottery did not award many of the biggest prizes in its largest instant ticket games.

The lawsuit was filed last week in Cook County Circuit Court by two people who describe themselves as longtime scratch-off players, and — like the first one filed last month in downstate St. Clair County — it seeks class-action status to cover all players who bought tickets for the games.

The latest lawsuit also cited a December Tribune investigation that examined the lottery's practices in the years after the state turned over management to a private firm, Northstar Lottery Group.

The Tribune studied the 17 biggest-prize instant games that began and ended in the five years since Northstar took over in mid-2011.

Reporters found that under Northstar, the number of tickets printed for games dramatically increased, allowing the lottery to offer bigger and better prizes. That helped entice players to buy more instant tickets than ever. But as sales dropped in many games, Northstar pushed to end those games' ticket sales before all, or sometimes any, of the grand prizes were awarded.

Less than 60 percent of the grand prizes in those games were awarded, a lower rate than in other states the Tribune examined and lower than when Illinois ran the lottery on its own. The Tribune also reported that because of the way games ended, the lottery often paid a lower percentage of revenue than the games were designed to pay.

Northstar has said the odds for players didn't change based on when games ended. But, similar to the first lawsuit, the latest one alleges the practice lowered players' odds and payout rates.

Two vendors, International Game Technology and Scientific Games, own Northstar. Neither firm immediately responded to questions about the lawsuit. Previously, they have said they acted only in the best interest of players and Illinois by removing the games that performed poorly and adding more popular ones.

The latest lawsuit was filed on behalf of players Dennis Atteberry and Tamara Burton. Their attorney, Larry Drury, said he couldn't speculate on whether both lawsuits would be merged.

"Each of the cases will proceed along their own way," he said. "They have their case there, and we have our case here."

The lawsuit comes as a state House committee is expected to hold hearings this spring on Northstar's management of the lottery in light of the Tribune's investigation, lawmakers have told the Tribune.

The first lawsuit has been moved to federal court, at Northstar's urging, and remains pending.

Chicago Tribune, Lottery Post Staff

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5 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by uprrman.
Page 1 of 1
music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
Fresno, California
United States
Member #157851
August 2, 2014
3869 Posts
Posted: March 25, 2017, 5:40 pm - IP Logged

 This is not the first time that the Press has shown light onto roaches in the dark. I hope that the plaintiffs win and win big.Smash

When will COVID-19 be finished?  A vaccine may protect all of us.

    grwurston's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
    Win Today.
    bel air maryland
    United States
    Member #90247
    April 24, 2010
    9124 Posts
    Posted: March 26, 2017, 12:29 pm - IP Logged

    If Northstar is doing that in Illinois, I wonder how many other states they are doing that in.  Their job is to increase lottery revenue for the states, so I find it hard to believe they are only doing this in just one.

    If they say Illinois is the only one, I say BS

    "You can observe a lot just by watching." Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame baseball player.

    The numbers will tell you what numbers to play. Pay attention to the numbers.

    Be willing to try a new strategy. If it doesn't work, try a different one.

      Raven62's avatar - binary
      New Jersey
      United States
      Member #17842
      June 28, 2005
      126311 Posts
      Posted: March 26, 2017, 2:17 pm - IP Logged

      Sounds like Northstar is a coconspirator.

      A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

      Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

      Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges: When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous.

        Northern IL
        United States
        Member #171103
        December 31, 2015
        147 Posts
        Posted: March 26, 2017, 8:03 pm - IP Logged

        If Northstar is doing that in Illinois, I wonder how many other states they are doing that in.  Their job is to increase lottery revenue for the states, so I find it hard to believe they are only doing this in just one.

        If they say Illinois is the only one, I say BS

        I have no doubt they did what they are accused. Illinois went from awarding 87.5% of grand prizes under state control to just 59.6% of grand prizes under Northstar control of lotto

        That is not a natural drop ,, Its clear it was man made/influenced drop

          uprrman's avatar - nw bookeep.jpg
          United States
          Member #96752
          September 4, 2010
          4053 Posts
          Posted: March 28, 2017, 6:25 pm - IP Logged

          ill. lottery is crooked and so are all the politicians

          i want to be a millionaire a second time!