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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

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For Immediate Release: February 20, 2008

Senator John Ford
Sen. John Ford

Bill to Privatize Lottery Heads to Full Senate

With education revenues from the state lottery failing to produce the amount of education revenues initially projected, John Ford has authored legislation to examine whether to privatize the operation.  Senate Bill 2173 is now headed to the full Senate for a vote after winning committee approval on Wednesday.

“I was opposed to the lottery, and I’ve never bought a single ticket, but I also respect the fact that 65 percent of Oklahoma voters said they wanted a lottery with proceeds going to education,” said Ford.  “If there is a better way to run it that would result in more funding for education, then we should do that, and get our government out of the gambling business.”

SB 2173 would create an eight-person Oklahoma Lottery Asset Review Board to determine if privatization would result in a more efficient operation.  The legislation would require six of the eight members to agree, and would require the governor’s approval as well before a private company could be chosen to operate the lottery.

“Even if it is operated privately, the state would maintain ongoing oversight, and failure to meet the terms and standards negotiated by the Lottery Asset Review Board would result in Oklahoma revoking the lottery from that company.”

Ford, who represents Craig, Nowata and Washington Counties, said the bill would not change the current distribution percentages of the Oklahoma Education Lottery Trust Fund.

For more information contact:
Senator Ford's Office:  (405) 521-5634

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