Christie’s push to privatize the lottery was billed as a way to make it run more like a business, but Northstar [the outside management company hired by Christie] today spends more and employs more people than when the lottery was run by the state.
Businesses are not designed to generate revenue for the state; they’re supposed to produce a profit for their owners. And the NJ state lottery is now doing just that, throwing off big bucks for
- Northstar New Jersey — the management company that has fallen short of contractually-set targets. Christie unilaterally revised those targets downwards, saving Northstar from having to pay substantial penalties.
- Gtech S.p.A — lottery privatization specialist, part-owner of Northstar.
- Macquarie Capital Group — consultants who recommended privatization in spite of the NJ lottery’s record of high profits and low overhead.
- Wolff & Samson — law firm of David Sampson, a Christie buddy. Hired by Gtech to lobby state officials.
- Mercury Public Affairs — PR firm of Mike Duhaime, another Christie buddy. Hired by Gtech to tell New Jerseyans what a great job Northstar is doing.
Under Northstar, lottery revenue is off by ten of millions of dollars. But all is not doom and gloom. Mercury Public Affairs says the new lottery videos are quite popular on Youtube.