Local News

Potential State Lottery Vendors Face Friday Deadline

Posted January 13, 2006 8:37 a.m. EST

— The clock is ticking for companies looking to run the new statewide lottery.

Companies have until 4 p.m. Friday to make a bid. At the deadline, the bids will be opened and the names of the companies that have submitted bids will be announced.

Eight people will be involved in the evaluations of bids from companies vying for the chance to provide the online ticket gaming systems and the instant ticket gaming services for the North Carolina Education Lottery

One of the potential vendors for the number games -- Scientific Games -- has been under recent scrutiny. Under investigation for possible lobbying law violations, the company paid former lottery commissioner Kevin Geddings thousands of dollars to advocate the games. The vendor also paid Speaker Jim Black's political director Meredith Norris and helped write the lottery law.

Scientific Games is one of at least three companies throwing out an offer to run the lottery. Bob Hall, of Democracy North Carolina, a government watchdog group, said the commission should think carefully when making their decision.

"I think it's buyer beware and that the lottery commission is at risk of embarrassing themselves," he said.

"While I would like to have a lot better public perception of this entire process, that's not the way it happens to be," said Charlie Sanders, chairman of the North Carolina lottery commisison.

The commission chair said the only thing that would be a problem with Scientific Games bid is if an executive were convicted of a felony. The other two lottery companies expected to make a bid Friday are OGT and G-Tech.