Update: Lottery Privatization Victory of NJ Governor!

This week, New Jersey governor Chris Christie scored an important victory against political and trade union opposition to his drive to privatize the state lottery by singling a long-term contract with Northstar New Jersey (a joint venture between Scientific Games, the Ontario municipal pension fund and GTech) to run the lottery and boost its revenues.

Namely, according to a ruling of the New Jersey Apellate Division, Christie's administration can sign the deal with Northstar, which implies that the Communications Workers of America trade union's request from the court to block the contract has been denied.

Earlier this year, Northstar won a 15-year deal to manage the lottery in exchange for an upfront payment of $120 million and a commitment to increase lottery profits by nearly $1.5 billion over the life of the contract. However, the opposition from the state's largest public-sector union, which represents lottery workers, presented an obstacle to the deal, claiming that it would violate state and federal laws and that the state violated regulations in selecting Northstar, which was the only company that bid for the contract.

Criticism could be heard from political opponents from the Democratic Party as well, who asked the US Justice Department to intervene.

Now, the two-judge panel approved Christie's decision to sign with Northstar, but that does not complete the victory, as the panel has still agreed to hear the CWA's appeal on an expedited basis. More news as new events emerge in the case.

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