The Indiana State Lottery Commission is asking companies to bid on taking over some of its operations.
The commission Tuesday issued a solicitation for companies to bid by Aug. 31 on taking over the sales, distribution and marketing of the lottery, a state agency whose income has shrunk in recent years. It expects to sign a 10-year contract by Nov. 1.
Lottery spokesman Al Larsen said the Lottery Commission will retain certain duties, including overall oversight of the lottery, rulemaking and conducting drawings. Vendors are being asked to find ways to make the lottery more profitable by possibly changing its retail network, improving marketing, and other ways. He said the commission has no plans to for substantial changes in its current operations.
Democratic leaders have been critical of many of the privatization activities of the Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels' administration.
The lottery commission endorsed a plan in May to seek out private companies to take over some operations of the lottery. At the time, Larsen said the effort's goal wasn't to privatize the lottery, but to see if companies have ideas for improving some of its operations — functions they could potentially take over if the state likes their ideas and eventually awards them contracts.
Larsen said the primary goal is to boost the lottery's net income, which dropped from $218 million in fiscal year 2006 to $188 million during fiscal year 2011 — a 14 percent decline.