Lottery boss says Wyoming tickets will go on sale in June

Mar 27, 2014 By Becky Orr, McClatchy Newspapers

CHEYENNE -- The leader of the Wyoming Lottery Corporation said Friday he is confident lottery tickets will go on sale in the state in June.

Jon Clontz, chief executive officer of the Wyoming Lottery Corp., told members of the Cheyenne Greater Chamber of Commerce that the timeline for selling tickets starts as early as June, but could be as late as October.

He predicts June as the starting time and said the timeline depends on how much time is spent on contract negotiations and other factors.

Wyoming residents will be able to buy tickets for two types of multi-state games -- Powerball and Mega Millions.

The state law that established the lottery does not allow for instant-win games like scratch-off tickets.

In the last legislative session, lawmakers narrowly approved House Bill 77, which called for the creation of a state lottery.

Gov. Matt Mead signed the bill last March, clearing the way to start the process of bringing lottery games to the state.

Mead then appointed a nine-member board to create a governance plan. Board members are from various parts of Wyoming, including Cheyenne, Casper, Powell and Torrington, he said.

The board hired Clontz, who started Oct. 7. He previously was deputy director of the Oregon Lottery.

He plans to have a staff of eight, with possibly as many as 10, including himself. He said he has hired half of the staff, including Louise Plata as the gaming operations officer. She comes from the Oregon Lottery. He also hired Ted Robinette of Cheyenne.

The Wyoming Lottery Corp. is a quasi-government corporation. It operates as a private business and borrowed about $1 million from Jonah Bank to establish operations and pay for initial prize money.

The corporation does not employ any state employees and does not use any state tax money, he said.

Work done so far with the corporation includes setting up the state office in downtown Cheyenne, as well as installing computer systems, payroll systems and other functions necessary for such an operation.

The lottery staff soon will send out requests for proposals for banking services and website development.

Warehouse 21 of Cheyenne will design the lottery logo, which soon will be ready.

The next big job is to find a gaming vendor. A request for proposals for a gaming vendor will be sent out next month.

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