Doug Finke, State Capitol Bureau
4 months, 2 weeks ago Doug Finke, State Capitol Bureau
Illinois wants additional details about the game
From Doug Finke, State Capitol Bureau :Officials with Northstar Lottery Group said Tuesday that the state has stymied their efforts to bring a new Monopoly-based lottery game to Illinois.Tim Simonson, chief executive officer for the private company hired to boost Illinois Lottery profits, said the company’s been trying unsuccessfully for months to get state lottery officials to approve the new national game, which it believes will be a hit with players.However, Lottery Superintendent Michael Jones said Tuesday that the state wants additional details about the game, particularly who will likely play it and whether it will take business away from other lottery games.It is the latest disagreement between Northstar and state officials over the direction private management of the state lottery has taken and the failure of Northstar to live up to sales goals it promised when it won the contract to manage the lottery and increase its profits.Meeting with The State Journal-Register editorial board, Simonson said that, while Northstar has increased lottery profits, “we haven’t completed the job we set out to do, and it hasn’t happened at the pace we wanted.”He cited a number of factors, but a major one, he said, is that the state doesn’t approve new games that would attract new players. Although Northstar manages the lottery, the state still has final approval over aspects of the operation, including games offered.“You can’t expect different results if you keep doing the same things over and over again,” Simonson said. “Our business plan is premised on introducing several new games. We haven’t been able to introduce those games that we have in our business plan.“We really want the state to allow us to do what we were hired to do … and introduce new games at a faster pace than we have been able to do so far.”The latest example is the Monopoly Millionaires Club, a new game based on the iconic real estate game. The game will also feature a television show based on the game. Set to start in October, 22 states are participating in it, including Missouri, Indiana, Iowa and Michigan.