July 9, 2013 – The nine-member board of the fledgling Wyoming Lottery met for the first time Monday and quickly got to work, hoping to reach or beat their goal of getting the Lottery off the ground by January 2014.
But the kickoff for ticket sales in the state is a long way off, as the board must choose a CEO for the semi-private Lottery corporation, which was created as a private entity to avoid placing risk on the state government.
They must also choose a Lottery vendor, a private company that will help the Lottery’s operations maximize profit.
In light of the Illinois Lottery’s legal troubles with its vendor Northstar, the Wyoming Lottery’s choice of vendor could have great – or grave – implications for their projected $24 million annual profits.
Before any of those decisions are made, the Lottery must find financial backing from banks and investors willing to take a risk.
Board member Mark Macy told Wyoming’s Star Tribune that the board expects investments to come fairly easily, and that the Lottery has been well-received by potential lenders.
“Most banks were receptive to the idea because you don’t see lotteries fail,” Macy said.
In fact, most lotteries are able to cover their start-up loans very quickly. For example, the Florida Lottery was able to pay back its loans in its first 17 days of operation, including interest.
Among other obstacles before kicking off ticket sales in Wyoming are choosing retailers and finding a lawyer.
Legal advice will be necessary to write a contract for whomever the CEO may be – whose salary will be well over $175,000 according to board members’ comments.
As for the board, their salaries are already set. They’re being paid $150 per day for days that they meet, and according to the Star Tribune must pay travel expenses out of pocket until the Lottery turns a profit.
It’d probably be a safe bet to say they’re hoping to beat Florida’s 17-day payback schedule.