Could the Camelot Group be ready to split? Sources are reporting that Camelot is indeed thinking seriously about dropping out of the bidding for the private management contract to run the Illinois Lottery. As previously reported, Camelot in recent days had grown increasingly concerned about its status in the bid process and about details contained in the private management agreement (PMA) that spells out the parameters under which the Illinois Lottery private manager must operate. Camelot could make a decision on what it intends to do within the next 24 to 48 hours, a source said.
Some observers think the Northstar Lottery Group, believed to be the only other bidder left in the running for the private management contract, has the inside track on that management contract because the principals that comprise Northstar are closely tied to the Lottery and its current management. Northstar principals include Gtech, Scientific Games and Energy BBDO/Chicago, which respectively provide technology, the games themselves and the advertising to the Lottery.
Should Camelot take the bold step of exiting the bidding, it could upend the entire process. Or perhaps not. The rules for the bid process reportedly state that there must be at least two bidders in contention for the private management contract. But at least one source said Illinois Lottery officials had possibly suggested to Camelot execs that a decision by the United Kingdom firm to drop out might not necessarily prevent the bid process from going forward, in which case Northstar most likely would be awarded the contract. A public hearing on the bid is scheduled for Sept. 7. Gov Pat Quinn is supposed to select a private manager for the Illinois Lottery on or before Sept. 15.