State launches search for new Lottery manager

Illinois is ready to find a new private manager and supplier for the Illinois Lottery.

Gov. Bruce Rauner said the previous administration dropped the ball in hiring Northstar Lottery Group to be the state’s private manager and flubbed the company’s exit contract. That’s something Rauner said he corrected when he came into office, saving the state $28 million.

Rauner said the state is ready to find a new manager is focusing on three factors in assessing candidates: transparency, growth and an elimination of conflicts of interest.

“Our existing management structure had some very troubling conflicts; it’s the primary reason I do not want to deal with them ever again,” Rauner said. Conflicts included Northstar using companies they own as suppliers.

Rauner said that allowed the company to inflate costs artificially.

The request for proposal for a new manager, announced today, includes requiring any new manager to comply with the state’s Freedom of Information Act.

Rauner said that if the state can’t find a new manager, lawmakers should rework the law.

Acting Lottery Director Tim McDevitt said one change could be to allow for a public-benefit corporation.

“That’s a structure where you have a corporation that is actually owned by the state and doesn’t have to go through a lot of the red tape, a lot of the long procurement processes, other processes that can ultimately make an organization less responsive,” McDevitt said.

The request for proposal could lead to a 10-year contract valued at $300 million with incentives based on growth.

The state’s relationship with Northstar would end once a new manager is selected.

–Illinois News Network

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