Thursday, August 01, 2013

The State of Illinois

Wants its damn money.

Here is the way the Chicago Tribune headlined a story about the Illinois lottery coming up a little short this year:
Review shows lottery shortfall for second year
Northstar group disputes Tribune findings; $40M in penalties may be involved
July 31, 2013|By Matthew Walberg | Chicago Tribune reporter

For the second straight year, the company hired to turn around stagnant sales at the Illinois Lottery has fallen short of the revenue it promised to generate for the state, according to a Tribune review of the lottery's sales and expense figures for the past year.
Here is another way that same story might have been written:
Review shows fewer Illinois residents pissing away their hard-earned money on lottery tickets for the second year
Northstar group disputes Tribune findings; $40M in penalties may be involved

For the second straight year, many more low-income Illinois resident than predicted have shown the good sense not to throw their money away on what is arguably the least productive, most parasitic legal "industry" outside of the payday loan scam, according to a Tribune review of the lottery's sales and expense figures for the past year.
In Illinois, vacuuming up the loose dollars of poor people is a thriving concern, providing both a source of revenue for a state that is on the brink of telling retired state worker to start staking out living space under one of Illinois' 2,300 structurally deficient bridges, and, to the surprise of absolutely no one , providing respectable private-sector "real" jobs for at least one of Former Mare Richie Daley's shadow government of loyal retainers.
Northstar was formed in 2010 by industry giants GTECH — a subsidiary of Lottomatica Group, an Italy-based firm that is among the largest lottery companies in the world — and New York-based Scientific Games, which provides instant tickets and gaming machines to dozen of lotteries in the U.S. and around the world.

Northstar was awarded the contract to run the lottery after a controversial bidding process.

GTECH and Scientific Games collectively netted nearly $84 million in contracts with the lottery in 2013, according to the lottery's preliminary year-end tally. And Northstar was paid an additional management fee of $15 million.

Northstar spokeswoman Avis LaVelle disputed the Tribune's analysis of its performance and noted that the lottery has posted record profits since the company took control of day-to-day operations.

"We disagree that we are $143 million short of our net income target, and we are in a big discussion with the lottery over the methodology for calculating net income," LaVelle said. "So we would prefer to wait until there is an audited financial statement for fiscal year 2013."
Longtime readers will remember that Ms. LaVelle -- Hizzoner's former press spokeperson -- was last seen in these precincts flaking for Morgan Stanley; that big-hearted financial institution which A) engineered the parking meter fiasco that bilked Chicago taxpayers out of a cool billion dollars, while B) giving Da Mare's nephew a source of gainful employment. 

(For those playing along at home, Da Mare himself is keeping busy by, among other things, making it rain candy like Hurricane Sandy over at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP. For those unfamiliar with KMR, they were "...among the law firms to which the Mayor had no-bid awarded the City's legal work. Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP negotiated the city's much-criticized long-term lease of its parking meters, and also the city's leases of the Chicago Skyway and City parking garages.")

Thus does the Circle of Clout remain unbroken.

Because there is still a Club.


And you are still not in it.

1 comment:

Scott Ingram said...

My own knowledge of Chicago politics consists of your works and right-wing politicians who use 'Chicago-style politics' as an insult.

How widespread is knowledge of the inner workings of Chicago's income-support programs for the 1%? Now that Rahm doesn't have the money to buy votes that Daley did, I assume he'll be out after one term?

Then again, we know from presidential politics that the power of incumbency is strong..

Keep up the good work!