Like we said before, it ain't over til it's over. And it definitely ain't over. Sources say both Intralot and Camelot Group -- the two losing bidders for the Illinois Lottery private management contract -- have submitted formal protests to officials at the Illinois Department of Revenue over the bid process for the management contract.
Camelot, so far, has not confirmed to us submission of its protest, but sources say the group that runs the National Lottery in the United Kingdom had, among other things, some serious concerns about the way information it requested during the latter stages of the Illinois Lottery bid evaluation process was conveyed to the bidder.
At least one source familiar with developments said some information requested was actually provided to Camelot on Energy BBDO/Chicago letterhead. Energy BBDO/Chicago is the current ad agency of record for the lottery and, along with Gtech and Scientific Games, comprises the Northstar Lottery Group, which Gov. Pat Quinn announced last week was the winning bidder for the private management contract to run the Illinois Lottery. "Couldn't they have at least have sent out the information to Camelot on Lottery letterhead?" wondered one source.
Intralot's protest submitted late Tuesday reportedly centers on the scoring it received during the initial evaluation of its proposal made days after its bid was formally submitted in late July. The Intralot protest focuses in on the wide disparity in scoring among the disparate group of nine evaluators. The protest letter suggests the evaluators were not sufficiently instructed or trained to properly evaluate the bid proposals. This resulted in what Intralot calls "arbitrary" scoring of its proposal.
Intralot's protest goes in to detail about the very different way in which Evaluators No. 5, 8, and 9 scored different parts of the proposal to lend credence to what Intralot contends was an "arbitrary" scoring process. Evaluator No. 5 was Mireya Hurtado from the Illinois Department of Health. Evaluator No. 8 was Hans Zigmund, an economist with the Illinois Department of Revenue and Evaluator No. 9 was Jan Kostner, who heads up the Illinois Tourism Bureau.
Intralot, by the way, knows a thing or two about lodging protests about procurement processes in Illinois. Just days ago, Intralot succeeded in getting the Illinois Gaming Board to terminate a new contract it had awarded to Scientific Games for the data network and central computer system tied to the expected introduction of video gaming in Illinois. Intralot provided documentation to the Board to prove the state had miscalculated Intralot's bid for the contract. That contract will now have to be rebid.
So, as we said before, it ain't over til it's over. Especially in Illinois.