Italian gaming consortium, Lottomatica, has been granted a contract renewal to provide instant-ticket vending machines and online lottery games and services within Florida, through its Rhode Island based subsidiary, GTech corporation, for another 4 years, without allowing any other potential vendor the ability to bid on the contract and to possibly offer better terms, better technology, better oversight, and better games to the Florida residents and taxpayers who are supporting the State lottery.
In 1996 the Florida State Lottery Commission released a Request For Proposal (RFP) to run Florida's online lottery business. Automated Wagering won the bid but GTech sued the state, claiming that the state's selection process was flawed. GTech won the appellate court battle and was subsequently awarded the lottery contract, despite the wishes of the elected leaders of the state of Florida who chose a better and less expensive company to run Florida's state sanctioned gambling enterprise. GTech proved to be the best litigator, not the best guardian of the Florida lottery. Automated Wagering was ultimately allowed to continue limited lottery operations through the end of the contract term, with certain restrictions, but GTech's aggressive court battle paid-off when the next contract was awarded.
In 2005, GTech was given a 10 year "integrated services" contract to replace Florida's lottery machines and to provide technological support and maintenance services for 6 years, with two, two-year extensions allowable under the terms of the contract.
The new contract extension began on March 28, 2011 and continues to lock out all other competitor bids through March of 2015. Governor Rick Scott needs to put this contract out to bid and then explore privatization of the Lottery. The State should not be in the gambling business.