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Weinberg Statement On Lottery Privatization

Majority Leader Says Privatization Is A ‘Bad Bet’ For NJ Taxpayers

TRENTON – Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, the sponsor of legislation that would require legislative approval before the Christie Administration could move forward on its highly-criticized plan to privatize the New Jersey Lottery and a separate Senate Resolution urging the administration to seek a legal opinion from the U.S. Department of Justice before undertaking the legally-questionable deal, issued the following statement on Monday after learning that the governor vetoed the initial bill:

“This is a bad bet for New Jersey because it gambles a highly successful lottery that provides substantial support for important public needs, including schools, the needs of senior citizens and the disabled. Why are we partially turning over to a private business a state lottery that has consistently produced close to $1 billion a year in profits for a one time payment of $120 million?

“A private firm is obviously in business to make money so I’m concerned that this deal will allow the contractors to profit at the expense of the people of New Jersey and those who rely on lottery proceeds and the small businesses that rely on ticket sales to operate. Until now, all the lottery profits went to public needs. This new business model would give a significant share to a private firm. The case has not been made that this is the best business plan for NJ.

“In the rush to privatization, the administration has failed to answer these concerns, refused to listen to legitimate criticisms and just hasn’t made the case to go through with a deal that could be a loser. Going ahead with the privatization of the lottery without financial justification or a reasonable explanation is a risky wager where the taxpayers could lose in the long run.”

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