The story was written by Scott Reeder of Statehouse News Online and a writer for the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, I have enjoyed Reeder’s columns and excellent writing for years.
GTECH, a leader in the gambling industry, formed a consortium with its arch-rival, Scientific Games, just before proposals to privatize the lottery were to be submitted in 2010, Reeder said. The consortium was named Northstar. GTECH and Scientific Games control 90 per cent of the instant ticket market in the U.S., Reeder wrote.
Richard McGowan, a finance professor at Boston College who specializes in lottery issues, told Reeder it was “unprecedented” for “enemy” companies to work together like this. State Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) is requesting the state auditor look into this, saying he was “perplexed” by Quinn’s decision to let two competitors to submit a bid together.
Byron Boothe of Intralot, an unsuccessful bidder for the contract, told Reeder that GTECH included Scientific Games in its proposal so it would not submit a competitive bid.
Illinois Auditor General Bill Holland told Reeder that he wrote a scathing report on the deal, and said Quinn’s panel that recommended Northstar could not have read and analyzed the proposals before a contract was awarded. Holland added that some people on the panel did not write reports until after the contract was given to Northstar.
In fact, Reeder said that one of the men on Quinn’s panel, Victor Golden, was named deputy lottery director at a salary of $109,248. Golden is paid by the state, but he is working for Northstar — the company he recommended.
Boothe told Reeder it was “clear from the beginning” that state officials had their minds made up about Northstar. McGowan likened Quinn’s deal to Blagojevich’s attempt to sell a senate seat.