Friday July 19,2013 : NORTHSTAR IN TROUBLE IN ILLINOIS
Company fails to deliver on its promises
The Illinois Lottery is disappointed in the results delivered by Northstar Lottery Group, a joint venture between GTech and Scientific Games, despite the company boosting lottery profits to $793.5 million on a 6 percent improvement of sales to $2.8 billion…well short of its promised target of net income of $947 million.
Northstar was established in August of 2010 and awarded a ten-year private management contract for the operation of the Illinois Lottery a month later.
“The [Illinois] Lottery firmly believes that these profit figures can be reached with the correct strategy and tactics,” Michael Jones, state lottery superintendent for Illinois, told local media.
“There are millions of people in Illinois who have all of a sudden started thinking the lottery is a pretty cool thing. The lottery had a pretty good year last year.”
Northstar could again face fines for not meeting its commitments to the state; the lottery group also failed to reach its mandated targets last year and is still fighting a legal action over state penalties of $20 million in that respect.
Jones remains optimistic, saying: “I think we are on the right track and can reach these numbers with the right strategy.”
The Northstar performance in Illinois could provide ammunition for New Jersey politicians disenchanted by Gov. Chris Christie's plans to privatise the New Jersey lottery through Northstar.
In June this year the state announced the controversial signing of Northstar in a 15-year deal, with operations due to switch to Northstar in October.