Wyoming lottery one step closer

Friday , March 28, 2014 - 12:44 PM

Casper Star-Tribune, Kyle Roerink

CASPER, Wyo. -- Those eager to play the Wyoming lottery are one step closer to getting their hands on tickets.

On Friday, the Wyoming Lottery announced the selection of its gaming vendor, the company tasked with furnishing convenience stores and other retail outlets with the games of chance.

Of the three gaming vendors in the nation, the lottery chose Georgia-based Intralot as its new partner.

Along with G-Tech and Scientific Games, Intralot had been vying to earn Wyoming’s business. After the Legislature passed a law last year that created the lottery, Wyoming was viewed as a prize for gaming vendors because it’s one of fewer than 10 states without an existing lottery.

Representatives from the companies visited with members of the lottery’s board in July to make sales pitches. But when it came time to put the contract out to bid, Wyoming CEO John Clontz was firm in having a hands-off relationship with representatives from each vendor.

He didn’t let companies woo or lobby the lottery. He only asked them to respond to the lottery’s request for proposals.

The lottery evaluated the companies based on 10 criteria in the proposal request. Vendors were graded on their equipment, logistics and other areas. Overall, Intralot scored the highest, Clontz said.

Intralot officials and Clontz will meet next week to begin contract negotiations.

Clontz didn’t disclose a specific dollar figure, but he said it will be a multimillion-dollar agreement.

He expects the lottery and Intralot to ink a deal by April 24.

“The sooner it gets done, the sooner the lottery can go live,” he said.

Clontz left a good deal of wiggle room before the projected launch date. He expects the lottery to go live between June and October.

But with a vendor in hand, the lottery will set a firm date after the ink dries on the contract with Intralot, Clontz said.

Estimates for how much the lottery will make have started at $20 million and reached as high as $30 million. Because the lottery has chosen a vendor, it can now begin taking a harder look at estimating the potential earnings and pin down a realistic starting date, Clontz said.

He plans to start tracking earnings from gas stations and other retail stores in an attempt to chisel a clearer estimate of what the lottery will earn once tickets are sold.

State law requires the first $6 million of lottery revenue to be distributed to cities, towns and counties, based on Wyoming’s sales tax formula. Any additional earnings will be deposited into the state Permanent Land Fund’s Common School Account. Other earnings will be used for prize money.

Intralot has customers in 56 countries and 10 states. It runs the Montana and Idaho lotteries.

The company had little to say Friday in regards to the announcement. A company representative wouldn’t comment on whether Intralot would need to build a hub for its Wyoming operations.

“We’re very pleased to be selected,” said Lynn Becker, Intralot’s vice president of business development.

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