Commentary

New Jersey Announces Lottery Privatization Contract Award

The New Jersey Department of the Treasury today announced its intention to award a 15-year contract for the private operation of the state’s lottery that will bring a $120 million upfront payment to the state and an estimated $1.4 billion in additional net lottery revenue to the state over the life of the deal, relative to in-house operation. From the state’s press release:

To ensure the future performance of the New Jersey Lottery exceeds its past record of providing essential support to State institutions and education programs, the Department of the Treasury’s Division of Purchase and Property has issued a Notice of Intent to award a 15-year contract to Northstar New Jersey Lottery Group to provide the Lottery with services to support its marketing and sales operations.

As part of the contract terms which guarantee the State a minimum amount of income, Northstar NJ will provide an accelerated payment of $120 million to the State upon the final award and execution of the contract. It has also committed to generating at least $1.42 billion of total additional net income for the State from Lottery operations over the life of the contract with a potential actual increase in net income of $6.88 billion. The $1.42 billion mark is above and beyond what the State could expect to see if Lottery operations remain unchanged.

Northstar NJ is a joint venture consisting of GTECH Corporation of Providence, Rhode Island, Scientific Games International of Alpharetta, Georgia, and OSI LTT NJ Holdings, a unit of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS). GTECH and Scientific Games are two of the world’s leading companies in lottery management and OMERS is one of the largest pension funds in Canada.

“For more than 40 years, the Lottery has provided critical financial support to New Jersey’s institutions and educational programs. The contract we plan to enter into with Northstar New Jersey protects that legacy commitment to New Jerseyans by positioning the Lottery for sustained growth and continued success in the face of an increasingly complex and competitive marketplace,” said State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff.

Carole Hedinger, executive director of the Lottery, said the contract will immediately strengthen its operations. “GTECH and Scientific Games have outstanding records of success in helping public lotteries grow their revenues and improve their operations. Their business plan for the Lottery is solid, well-researched and builds upon our existing strengths.”

New Jersey now becomes the fourth state—after Illinois, Indiana and Pennsylvania—to move forward with a private management agreement for lottery operations in recent years. The shift to private management has already occurred in Illinois and Indiana, while officials in Pennsylvania continue to renegotiate their contract after the state’s Attorney General raised several legal concerns in February, which has slowed the process in the Commonwealth.

Check back to reason.org in the coming weeks for my state lottery privatization roundup as part of our Annual Privatization Report 2013.

Leonard Gilroy is Senior Managing Director of the Pension Integrity Project at Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank advancing free minds and free markets. The Pension Integrity Project assists policymakers and other stakeholders in designing, analyzing and implementing public sector pension reforms.

The project aims to promote solvent, sustainable retirement systems that provide retirement security for government workers while reducing taxpayer and pension system exposure to financial risk and reducing long-term costs for employers/taxpayers and employees. The project team provides education, reform policy options, and actuarial analysis for policymakers and stakeholders to help them design reform proposals that are practical and viable.

In 2016 and 2017, Reason's Pension Integrity Project helped design, negotiate and draft pension reforms for the state of Arizona's Public Safety Personnel Retirement System and Corrections Officer Retirement Plan, which both passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the state legislature and were signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey.

Gilroy is also the Director of Government Reform at Reason Foundation, researching privatization, public-private partnerships, infrastructure and urban policy issues.

Gilroy has a diversified background in policy research and implementation, with particular emphases on competition, government efficiency, transparency, accountability, and government performance. Gilroy has worked closely with legislators and elected officials in Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, New Jersey, Utah, Virginia, California and several other states and local governments in efforts to design and implement market-based policy approaches, improve government performance, enhance accountability in government programs, and reduce government spending.

In 2010 and 2011, Gilroy served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Arizona Commission on Privatization and Efficiency, and in 2010 he served as an advisor to the New Jersey Privatization Task Force, created by Gov. Chris Christie.

Gilroy is the editor of the widely-read Annual Privatization Report, which examines trends and chronicles the experiences of local, state, and federal governments in bringing competition to public services. Gilroy also edits Reason's Innovators in Action interview series, which profiles public sector innovators in their own words, including former U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani and more.

Gilroy's articles have been featured in such leading publications as The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, New York Post, The Weekly Standard, Washington Times, Houston Chronicle, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Arizona Republic, San Francisco Examiner, San Diego Union-Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, Sacramento Bee and The Salt Lake Tribune. He has also appeared on CNN, Fox News Channel, Fox Business, CNBC, National Public Radio and other media outlets.

Prior to joining Reason, Gilroy was a senior planner at a Louisiana-based urban planning consulting firm. He also worked as a research assistant at the Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research at Virginia Tech. Gilroy earned a B.A. and M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Tech.