Illinois Lottery gives Northstar the boot

News on 16 Aug 2014

Our readers may remember the furore around the privatisation of the Illinois state lottery three or more years ago, when politicians and action groups fiercely debated and criticised a decision to hand over the management of the enterprise to the Northstar Lottery Group for ten years on promises of better returns.

Northstar, despite backing by major lottery companies GTech and Scientific Games, has clearly underperformed, failing to meet its own targets and consequently having to pay penalities reported to be in the region of $60 million so far.

The company is therefore probably relieved that the state government has decided to end the agreement, with state governor Pat Quinn advising Crain’s Chicago Business that the deal was off due to Northstar’s inability to meet its targets.

The governor’s office did not clarify the lottery’s course from this point when asked whether it would revert to state management or be the subject of another privatisation tender.

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