Former lottery officials rap no-bid contract extension | Arkansas Blog

Monday, January 18, 2016

Former lottery officials rap no-bid contract extension

Posted By on Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 12:35 PM

click to enlarge o.jpg
Arkansas Business' Mark Friedman has a long look  at the Hutchinson administration's decision to extend a major lottery vendor's contract by 10 years, without taking competitive bids, though the vendor, Scientific Games, was found three years ago to have been paid millions more than its original contract called for. A renegotiation sent $2 million back to the state.

The Hutchinson administration says this is a good deal in the long run. Former Lottery Commissioner Bruce Engstrom and former internal lottery auditor Michael Hyde have questions.

The lottery says the new deal will save millions for the state in lower commissions on scratch-off ticket sales, though if sales explode sufficiently, Scientific Games can get a huge commission windfall.

Lottery expenses and contracts and salaries have been a source of debate since the lottery began. Not surprising for an enterprise in which billions run through the till.

But here's another important question: Will the new test score requirement to qualify for a lottery scholarship and the lower first-year payment wind up altering dramatically the number of poor and minority students who qualify? THAT is a question that needs some careful auditing in the months ahead.

NOTE: I should have said earlier that you can expect more skulduggery, not less, in the future. Since the Hutchinson administration abolished the publicly appointed Lottery Commission, it moved all discussions to backrooms and private legislator/lobbyist discussions. We'll only know what they want us to know and when they want us to know it — generally after the deals are done.

Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (12)

Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • TGIF open line

    Another week done. Today's video roundup leads with the looming government shutdown.
    • Jan 19, 2018
  • Former legislator arrested for theft

    The Texarkana Gazette reports that Fonda Hawthorne, who served one term in the state House as a Democrat from Ashdown in 2013 and 2014, was arrested this week for theft — making some $16,000 in questionable charges on the debit card of the Little River Chamber of Commerce, of which she is executive director.
    • Jan 19, 2018
  • Legislative Council approves dicamba ban

    The Legislative Council today signed off without discussion on a Plant Board rule to ban the use of the herbicide dicamba between April 16 and Oct. 31.
    • Jan 19, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation