With the experience of private management via Northstar in the past, the Illinois Lottery is ready to begin looking for a new manager.

A longtime loud critic of state government says it's a bad bet.

“That's not something I would privatize,” says State Rep. Jack Franks (D-Marengo). “This is an asset of the state that is actually appreciating in value and has just been underutilized. Other states do not have private lottery managers and have done much better than the state of Illinois.”

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The lottery, in an e-mailed statement, announced it is asking potential vendors for information “to initiate an open dialogue with market participants and gain information as well as industry perspective.”

The e-mail, which the administration indicated would stand without an on-the-record interview, says the “Request for Information” is the first public step toward a “Request for Proposal.”

Gov. Bruce Rauner terminated the contract with Northstar, citing underperformance. Rauner inherited the contract from the previous administration but apparently will not heed Franks' advice to take the lottery back in-house.


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