Maybe you thought it was over after Gov. Pat Quinn eked out a razor-thin win over Bill Brady? Well it ain't.
We're talking, of course, about the very protracted process to select a private manager for the Illinois Lottery. Gov. Pat Quinn announced on Sept. 15 that he had selected Northstar Lottery Group to manage the Lottery -- basically rubber stamping the recommendation made to him by the Illinois Department of Revenue. Northstar is comprised of Gtech, Scientific Games and Energy BBDO -- all of which currently have contracts with the Lottery.
But no private management contract with Northstar has been signed, and now we hear that really dark storm clouds are rapidly forming in the wake of the Department of Revenue's official response Friday to a formal protest lodged by Intralot, a contender for the Lottery management contract that was dumped early in the bid process.
It took nearly two months for the Department of Revenue to craft its formal response, and the contents, we're told, have angered the folks at Intralot. As Illinois Department of Revenue execs had threatened to do weeks ago, they made Intralot SA chairman Sokratis Kokkalis, who is based in Greece, a major focus of their response. One source who had read the lengthy response described the attack on Kokkalis as nothing less than "ferocious."
Now Intralot's next move may be to request that the state attorney general and/or inspector general take a look at what has unfolded during this entire process. The Illinois state legislature, which passed the legislation that prompted the selection of a private manager for the Lottery, may get back involved, as well.
It does not appear the Department of Revenue has completed its response to the formal protest also filed nearly two months ago by the Camelot Group, the other finalist for the private management contract.
We will post more on this now quickly-developing story as details become available. But, in the meantime, we can definitely confirm that it ain't over. And there is no indication it will be any time soon.