The Arkansas Lottery Commission will meet by conference call this afternoon to consider the proposed three-year extension of the contract with Intralot to provide online lottery ticket sales.
The Arkansas Blog reported Saturday that Intralot and Lottery Director Bishop Woosley had reached a deal to reduce the rate Intralot receives from 2.45 to 2.11 percent of gross sales. Intralot will also pay $100,000 into a marketing fund. All told, at current sales levels, the deal could be worth a savings of $1.5 million in expenses. Profit from the lottery goes to college scholarships. Intralot makes about $11 million a year from Arkansas on what was originally a seven-year contract.
UPDATE: At midday, a spokesman announced the meeting had been cancelled “pending further negotiation.”
On further inquiries, it appears Intralot, in writing up the deal, wrote in a nine-month delay in the lower rate, something the commission thought would take effect immediately. With the disagreement on the effective start date, that sent Intralot back to negotiations and there was no proposal to consider.
A completed contract serves as some measure of protection — it should be noted — for both Intralot and the existing Lottery management. Legislators have hired a British gambling company to evaluate the lottery. The suspicion is that legislators are interested in a shakeup.