Is selling the state lottery worth the gamble?

Source: By Benjamin N. Gedanm, Providence Journal, Sunday, February 10, 2008

For five decades, state governments have maintained a stranglehold on lotteries, reaping huge gambling profits from the monopoly.

That tradition could be coming to an end, as cash-strapped states consider selling their games to private operators. The sales would generate a windfall to pay for roadway and school construction or to erase unfunded pension liabilities, while drying up annual lottery revenues that have been propping up state budgets.

For global lottery operator GTECH Holdings Corp., however, the potential changes would likely boost yearly profits.

……. GTECH executives have been meeting with state legislators across the country to discuss privatization and to project the potential growth in lottery revenue. Their message: squeamish state governments are surrendering millions in gambling winnings.