Judge sides with House speaker in lawsuit in Florida Lottery contract dispute with Scott administration

Source: Associated Press, March 8, 2017

In a move that could escalate tensions further among Florida’s Republican leaders, a Tallahassee judge on Tuesday sided with House Speaker Richard Corcoran in a lawsuit that contends the administration of Gov. Rick Scott approved an illegal contract. Circuit Judge Karen Gievers on Tuesday ruled the Florida Lottery lacked the legal authority to sign off on more than $700 million contract with IGT Global Solutions to run lottery games. Gievers declared the contract, which is supposed to run until 2031, “void and unenforceable.” … Corcoran sued the state’s lottery secretary last month, arguing that the contract approved last fall exceeds the Florida Lottery’s authorized budget. During a daylong hearing on the lawsuit held this week, top aides who work for the Florida House also testified that the contract also was structured in a way to sidestep legislative oversight. They noted that lottery officials last fall asked legislators for more money to pay for the contract. … Florida had a contract with Gtech, one of the world’s leading lottery operators. It merged with International Game Technology and changed its name, and IGT Global Solutions is a subsidiary. State records show the old contract — which started in 2005 — was worth roughly $387 million. The new contract is worth as much as $717 million. …