Private firm to run Illinois online lottery


Under-performance in a competitive market to be addressed by a change of management.

Despite permission to go online from state lawmakers, the Illinois Lottery has apparently not been able to achieve its full potential, and plans are now in hand to bring in the expertise of private sector management to boost performance in an increasingly competitive field.

The lottery has asked private firms for 'expressions of interest' in managing its operations for a period of up to ten years with a winner due to be announced before the end of 2010.

The state's General Assembly mandated last year that a private company be brought in to manage the Illinois Lottery and sell tickets over the Internet in order to generate much-needed additional state revenues. As the state's fifth largest income generator, the lottery is seen as an important source of funds for both education and capital projects.
In 2009 it generated $2 billion in revenue, adding $630 million to state coffers last year and an impressive $15 billion since it was launched 36 years ago.

The successful bidder will be expected to inject capital into the project to replace outdated hardware and software currently in use, a state spokesman said this week. Technology improvements, the addition of new games and better management and marketing expertise are expected to make major improvements, especially in the online
environment.

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