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Christie Defends Private Lottery Contract

Thursday, April 18, 2013

WNYC

New Jersey's Democratic Congressional delegation has asked Attorney General Eric Holder to review a Christie Administration deal to have a private firm run the state lottery.

Governor Christie is counting on a $120 million dollar payment from the deal to balance next year's budget.

The House Democrats believe the deal with Northstar New Jersey runs afoul of a 2008 Department of Justice ruling that would prohibit the state from receiving a payment in advance from a private lottery manager.

"We are not privatizing the lottery, we are outsourcing the management and marketing of the lottery. The state still owns the lottery," Christie told reporters.

Christie says he can terminate the contract in two years if Northstar fails to meet its revenue goals. Northstar was the only bidder.

Critics say Northstar's parent company hired the head of Christie's transition team,  David Sampson's law firm as well as the same political consulting firm that runs Christie's campaigns.

Christie dismissed the critique as "background noise."

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