So week one has come and gone since bids were formally submitted for the private management contract to run the Illinois Lottery. It was a busy last few days, as most of the bidders believed to have submitted bids met with the all-important evaluation committee that will make a recommendation to Gov. Pat Quinn as he prepares to decide on or before Sept. 15, which bidder will get the Lottery management contract.
From sources who were present at those evaluation committee meetings, it appears efforts were indeed made to mask which people present were on the evaluation committee and which might have only been interested onlookers. But among those believed to have been involved in the questioning of bidders include acting Illinois Lottery superintendent Jodie Winnett, Lottery product development director Michele Eichorn and one Lisa Crites, who is listed as a "legal assistant" on a Illinois Lottery staff roster. Less clear from sources we talked to after the meetings with the evaluation committee is who from outside the Illinois Lottery is seated on that evaluation committee. The committee is supposed to include executives outside the Illinois Lottery.
Next week promises to be an action-packed one in the bid process as well. A version of the so-called private management agreement (PMA) is expected to be made available to bidders (and possibly the public) as early as Monday. We're told that PMA includes a lot of the nuts-and-bolts details about performance goals the new private management entity will be expected to meet. Whatever is revealed next week, however, may not be the final version of that private management agreement. It could still get further tweaking, we're told.
Then on Thursday, we are supposed to get from the state the official list of finalists in contention for the Illinois Lottery private management contract.
Meanwhile, Illinois Lottery evaluation committee members and other interested parties might want to read through an exhaustive article published today by the Caymanian Compass, a daily newspaper in the Cayman Islands. That is where Gtech, a principal in the Northstar Lottery Group bidding for the Illinois Lottery private management contract, is also apparently trying to land a gaming contract with the Cayman Island government.
At the top of the lengthy article reporter Brent Fuller refers to Gtech operations in Texas, where it has managed the state's gaming business for nearly 20 years. In a 2006 report, Texas state police investigators evidently raised concerns about Gtech's "sometimes questionable actions" taken to pursue and protect the company's business interests. Bruce Turner, Gtech CEO at the time, apparently responded to those concerns by insisting Gtech no longer conducted business in a questionable manner, according to Fuller's report. There's much more in the Fuller article about Gtech's dealings in Texas and other places, including Brazil.