We were out of the country for a week, and guess what, it still ain't over. We're referring, of course, to the protracted Illinois Lottery private management contract bid process. When we left a week ago, the formal protests lodged by losing finalist Camelot Group and ex-contender Intralot were still in process.
And as of late Monday, according to a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Revenue, there was no indication when a formal response to both protests would be issued or when a management contract might be signed. Gov. Pat Quinn awarded the Lottery management contract on Sept. 15 to the Northstar Lottery Group, comprised of Gtech, Scientific Games and Energy BBDO/Chicago, which respectively supply technology, games and advertising to the Lottery
But it's at least clear no response to the protests will be forthcoming -- and no Illinois Lottery private management contract signed -- until after today's vote, which could render Gov. Pat Quinn a lame duck and possibly throw a new wrench in the proceedings.
We also heard that while we were away the Illinois Department of Revenue apparently was busy distancing itself from any allegations of blackmail -- or what could have been interpreted as blackmail by some -- in a meeting between representatives from the department and Intralot on Oct. 19. The Department of Revenue, however, has not denied a meeting took place.
In any event, more to come in the next several days. Just remain mindful of what we've said all along: It ain't over until it's over.