There was plenty more jawboning, but the Legislative Council
wrapped up the expected approval this morning of a couple of big contracts related to the Arkansas Lottery.
Camelot Global Services
will be paid $750,000 in fees and expenses every year to consult on improving performance, with a promise of a 12-15 percent commission on growth in revenue, above last year's $72 million net. The legislature also extended by seven years, through 2026, a contract with Scientific Games International
to provide scratchoff lottery tickets, but with a lower percentage take on sales. Proponents say savings of $1.5 million or more a year on the scratchoff deal will pay Camelot's new cost and provide $1 million more for lottery scholarships. The deals had some legislative resistance, but were pushed by the Hutchinson administration, which now controls the lottery after abolition of the lottery commissoin, and by a lobbying firm for Camelot led by long-time Republican Party insiders Mitchell Lowe and Bill Vickery.
The contracts weren't approved without some grumbling. Even some Republicans aren't happy about the big commissions given Camelot or the bonus that Scientific Games will make of 4.7 percent over $360 million in scratchoff sales. That's not much more than the current five-year average. Several legislators were particularly hot that an immiedate vote was called this morning without debate on the Scientific Games portion of the two deals.