Lottery commission OKs new multistate Monopoly game

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The Hoosier Lottery will participate in a new multistate jackpot game, under a business plan that the State Lottery Commission of Indiana OK'd Friday morning.

The new game is Monopoly Millionaires' Club, which will generate tens to hundreds of milion-dollar prizes, instead of one mega-jackpot winner. Tickets will cost $5, according to the industry magazine Public Gaming Research.

Monopoly Millionaires' Club is just one facet of the Hoosier Lottery business plan for the 2015 fiscal year that begins July 1. Crafted by lottery operator Gtech Indiana, the plan covers everything from the game portfolio to branding and retailer recruitment.

Its aim is to generate $320 million in “bid net income,” which is the amount Gtech promised for 2015 as part of its 2012 bid to become the Hoosier Lottery’s first private manager.

Bid net income represents income after prizes and other game-related expenses. Proceeds to the state will be some lesser amount, after subtracting administrative expenses.

Gtech’s commitment of $320 million represents a 25-percent increase over its target of $256 million for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.

Lottery sales are forecast to reach about $1.06 billion this fiscal year, although they were 3 percent below budget as of April 30. Lottery commission staff reported on May 20 that Gtech was not on pace to hit its target of $256 million in bid net income. If Gtech doesn't reach its goal this fiscal year, the company must make a shortfall payment to the state.

Also in 2015, Gtech will introduce a new draw game called Bingo To Go, which comes with a mobile-phone application. Lottery Executive Director Sarah Taylor, who during the May 20 commission meeting flagged the mobile app as potentially problematic, said Gtech will make some adjustments so that it won’t appear to bring Internet gambling to Indiana.

Consumers will be able to check numbers and learn about the game through the mobile app, but they won't be able to pay for the game or choose numbers.

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