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Lottery-ticket company wooing Tennessee

Nov 17, 2003, 4:33 am

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Scientific Games

Already the country's leading supplier of instant lottery tickets, Scientific Games International is now moving into online gaming and hopes to make Tennessee its newest customer.

The Alpharetta, Ga.-based company is one of the companies competing for both the instant and online contracts for the new Tennessee games. Lottery giant GTECH Corp. of Rhode Island is also in the bidding.

Scientific Games provides in-stant tickets for two-thirds of state lotteries and more than 50 other countries, and operates online systems in seven states. In 2002 it helped launch South Carolina's online and instant ticket systems.

The South Carolina Lottery had the industry's first private Internet-based network to link retailers to the lottery's central system. But the network, now much admired, started out as a technology concern before the games began.

When telecommunications company AT&T said it couldn't meet the deadline to build the network, Scientific Games faced with a daily fine of up to $250,000 for delays contracted instead with BellSouth.

"What Scientific Games did for us, why I give them credit, is they dedicated themselves to performing on the contract" despite the problem and got the games started on time, South Carolina lottery chief Ernie Passailaigue said.

Scientific Games refused to comment for this story, citing the ongoing bidding process. But an investor update on its Web site gives insight into the company's goals.

A "growth strategy" detailed there includes a plan to "sustain momentum of recent online wins" and "capture expansion opportunities as competitors online lottery contracts come up for bid."

Over the past several years, Scientific Games was awarded instant ticket contract extensions with Delaware, Florida and Pennsylvania, and won a rebid of Georgia's instant game services.

It also won the Colorado Lottery's online contract in 2002.

Tennessee Lottery CEO Rebecca Paul hopes to make a decision on the vendor by Nov. 24; she is trying to get the instant-ticket lottery up by Feb. 10 and the online games by April 5.

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