Like some of the state's leading diversity organizations, the State Journal-Register thinks that Gov. Pat Quinn should select Camelot Group to operate Illinois' lottery system when he makes his decision later this week. Here's why:
[Camelot Illinois CEO Jeff] Perlee noted also that in Chicago, 18 of the top 20 lottery retailers are located in low-income neighborhoods. In England, the top sellers are supermarkets in affluent suburbs. That’s because “they have a fundamentally different way to approach to the business and present what the lottery is to the marketplace than what has been followed here,” Perlee said.
Fixing this dynamic should be the key job of any new private manager given this new and lucrative state contract. A 10-year analysis of Illinois lottery records conducted by the Chicago Reporter in 2007 found that low-income Chicago communities generated the highest lottery sales in the state. Too often, the lottery serves as a quasi-regressive tax on poor players who substitute the game for more expensive entertainment forms or see it as a rare opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty. If the program is to expand, that has to change.