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Quinn moves to oust firm managing Illinois Lottery

Illinois Gov. PQuinn

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn

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Updated: September 17, 2014 6:12AM

PRINGFIELD — Bowing to legislative pressure and a lackluster bottom line, Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration moved Friday to terminate the state’s contract with Northstar Lottery Group, the private vendor that manages the Illinois Lottery.

“The administration has had serious concerns with Northstar’s performance. The governor demands every state contractor be held accountable for their performance,” Quinn spokesman Grant Klinzman said.

A published report this week indicated the company is running nearly a quarter-billion dollars short in projected earnings it had promised the state this fiscal year.

And during the past three years, the company has underperformed by roughly $480 million, prompting calls from some lawmakers for the Quinn administration to pull out of what had been a 10-year contract with the company to run the day-to-day operations of the state’s $2 billion lottery.

Klinzman did not respond to a question about whether Quinn believes the lottery should be run on an in-house basis as it was for most of its life or be turned over to another private lottery manager.

“The state is in the process of finalizing a path that will allow the lottery to move on, improve profits and increase funding for education and economic development across the state,” he said.

A spokeswoman for the Chicago-based vendor being dumped by Quinn did not respond to an email from the Chicago Sun-Times seeking comment about the governor’s move.

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