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Beebe weighs in on lottery contract

By The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

This article was published April 18, 2012 at 11:18 a.m.

arkansas-gov-mike-beebe-danny-johnston-ap

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe : DANNY JOHNSTON / AP

Gov. Mike Beebe said today that his attorney considers the state’s contract with scratch-off ticket vendor Scientific Games to be legal, even if it wasn’t handled correctly.

His statement at a news conference backed up a vote by the Arkansas Lottery Commission April 11, while Beebe was in China, to confirm the validity of its long-standing contract with the vendor despite assertions from the lottery auditor that the commission should get a legal opinion first. 

“Apparently what they’ve done is legal,” Beebe said. “That doesn’t mean it’s right.”

Last month, it became public that the lottery’s auditor had questioned the validity of the scratch-off ticket contract, which the lottery has had almost from its beginning.

Auditor Michael Hyde has estimated that an amendment to the contract, approved by former Director Ernie Passailaigue in 2009, has cost the state $7.29 million more than was in the initial deal approved by the commission and its Legislative Oversight Committee.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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