Prieto on Lottery Privatization: The Only Guarantee We Have is That There Are No Guarantees

Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Vincent Prieto expressed continued concern after Thursday’s budget hearing over the Christie administration’s determination to hand the reigns of New Jersey’s successful lottery operation over to a private company without certain assurances.

“Much of the information provided to us today was punctuated with vagaries and uncertainties. There was very little the Treasurer could guarantee us other than that there are no guarantees when it comes to job protection for current lottery employees or the ability of North Star to significantly boost revenue.

“My fear is that we’re gambling on an operation that’s not broken and, in the end, we will have lost control of one of our more successful assets, laid off state workers and failed to realize any real long-term benefits.

“I worry that the administration’s zeal to turn the reigns over to a private company is motivated more by the guaranteed upfront payment, and the current budget holes it would help plug, than North Star’s ability to transform our lottery system and produce substantially more long-term revenue,” said Prieto (D-Bergen/Hudson).