Governor Proposes Leasing the Lottery

The man who spearheaded the privatization of the Indiana Toll Road, today publicly set his sights on leasing the lottery.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels figures a private company would be willing to pay up to a billion dollars to take over lottery operations.

Today, he announced plans to pour those profits into higher education.

While the idea of investing in higher education brought little debate, concerns were expressed about the wisdom of leasing the lottery.

Only twice in the past ten years has the lottery brought in more than 200-million dollars in profit. Yet the Governor figures a private company will not only pay 200-million a year for the right to run the business, it’ll also pay
an up front fee of one billion dollars.

“The way that every business makes money, is either they increase sales or reduce expenses, that's how you get your bottom line,” according to Mark Eagan who runs the St. Joseph County Chamber of Commerce.

House Speaker B. Patrick Bauer agrees, fearing that “you have to expand gambling if you’re going to make it profitable for a private company. Does that mean cherry masters? What does that mean?

Any proposed lottery lease would need the approval of state lawmakers.

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