Thursday August 6,2015 : POLITICS FINALLY KILL OFF MINNESOTA LOTTERY ONLINE ACTION (Update)
Online ticket sales and games to close end August…but the problem of vendor compensation remains.
Miffed politicians in Minnesota have finally triumphed in their two-year long efforts to kill a promising online initiative by the state lottery director, Ed Van Petten.
Our readers may recall that Van Petten, backed by the state governor, sought to attract a younger demographic to the lottery by launching online, gas pump and ATM lottery sales and, later, an online scratch card game.
Progress was very encouraging until a section of the legislature claimed that Van Petten had not kept them in the loop and had overreached on his authority, consequently demanding that the entire online operation be shut down and passing legalization to ensure this was done.
Their first bill was frustrated by Gov. Mark Dayton's veto, but this year they returned and the bill was signed into law, mandating that online activity be discontinued by September.
Reporting on the imminent shutdown, the Washington Times this week raised the very pertinent question of how the lottery's contracts with vendors like Linq3 and Scientific Games are to be terminated, and what the penalties and compensation was likely to be…something the politicians were warned about.
Beyond confirming that the lottery is in negotiations with the vendors, Van Petten has disclosed very little, although some lottery officials have said the cancellations are likely to cost Minnesota tax payers around $12 million.