Complaint: Legislature unfair in lottery review | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Complaint: Legislature unfair in lottery review

Posted By on Sat, Oct 25, 2014 at 7:22 AM

click to enlarge CAMELOT: UK lottery operator touts games such as these on its website. It's studying the Arkansas lottery.
  • CAMELOT: UK lottery operator touts games such as these on its website. It's studying the Arkansas lottery.

A Georgia consulting company has slammed the legislature for using a no-bid process to pick another company to review the Arkansas Lotttery, Stephens Media reports.

Of course there was no bidding. Sen. Jimmy Hickey, a Texarkana Republican, is playing this game with loaded dice. He wanted a consultant that would produce recommendations he favored and he went to a hand-picked outfit, Camelot, represented locally by some Republican insiders. He'll get the recommendations he wants, including the predetermined agreement with him that "monitor" games — electronic instant gambling at stores and restaurants bars — are a bad idea.

Prediction: The consultant will soon find value in the idea of outsourcing lottery operations to a company with experience in the field. It so happens that the company Hickey hand-picked to do this review operates lotteries elsewhere. Sounds like they could be a contender. In England, their offerings include ticket sales by mobile phone.

Lotteries have to change and evolve to grow. Just like the Oaklawn casino. Remember when gambling there, other than horse races, was just machines replaying horse races? Now they have slot machines, poker, blackjack and just about every variation of gambling (excuse me, electronic games of skill) you can imagine. Similarly, the lottery will continue to dwindle if scratchoffs are the core of the business. It was oversold from the start as a huge boost to college going, with a dwindling amount available for college costs that have grown at a galloping rate even as lottery scholarship support has declined.

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