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Losing lottery contractor protests Ill. decision

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September 23, 2010 06:03 PM EST | AP

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The company that lost out on a lucrative bid to manage the Illinois State Lottery has protested the decision.

Camelot Illinois announced on Thursday its protest to the Department of Revenue. It claims the administration of Gov. Pat Quinn violated state law by not ensuring a competitive bidding process, skewing it toward existing lottery contractors and not providing the same information to all bidders.

"We hope the state will recognize that a competitive bid process was not honored here and that only a truly competitive process can maximize the lottery's long-term value for the state," Camelot Chief Executive Dianne Thompson said in a statement.

Quinn awarded a 10-year agreement last week to Northstar Lottery to manage the 35-year-old state-run gambling operation. Northstar comprises companies that already have lottery contracts – GTECH and Scientific Games.

Northstar promised to generate $4.8 billion in net revenue for the lottery in the first five years, $1.1 billion more than the state estimated it could generate.

Camelot, which has managed Britain's national lottery since 1994 and is a consultant to California's state lottery, promised $4.09 billion.

Northstar could earn $331 million over that time through set contract prices and incentives. But there are penalties for falling short.

Revenue spokeswoman Sue Hofer said there is no timetable for ruling on the protests of Camelot and a contractor eliminated earlier. But she said they will be "handled expeditiously."