Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire is exploring whether to privatize the state’s lottery, highlighting other ways that her government is outsourcing duties.
Gregoire says the privatization could generate savings and potentially new revenue for the state, so she wants the lottery to solicit proposals from the private sector to determine whether such a shift is feasible. The state would still maintain an oversight role.
The lottery brought in $523 million in revenue in the last fiscal year, with most of that money going back out for prizes, commissions and administration. About $150 million went to state education, economic development and other programs.
Lottery officials say it remains to be seen how the current system will stack up against private proposals. About a half-dozen states have private contracting with their lotteries.
Gregoire says the state is also going to put up other state work for private bidding, including bulk printing, website development and some government mail services.
She separately proposed the elimination of the three-person Liquor Control Board and suggested the use of a director to oversee licensing and enforcement.
Washington voters resoundingly approved the privatization of the state’s liquor sales and distribution last month. That new system is expected to bring in more money for state and local governments. (AP)