Illinois Budget Crisis Halts State’s Powerball and Mega Million Sales
Illinois residents may not be able to play Powerball and Mega Million if the State’s Legislature cannot come up with a budget before the end of June 2017.
Illinois Lottery spokesman Jason Schaumburg said this week the games will be suspended at the end of the month unless the State can find a way to resolve their budget issues.
Schaumburg declined to confirm if lottery sales would stop because of Illinois Lottery or the organization that distributes the games.
“It is disappointing that the Legislature’s inability to pass a budget has led to this development and will result in Illinois Lottery players being denied the opportunity to play these popular games,” acting Illinois Lottery Director Greg Smith said in a written statement. “This is why it’s so critical the General Assembly deliver a balanced budget to the governor’s desk that he can sign.”
Spokeswoman for the Multi-State Lottery Association that runs Powerball, Anna Domoto in a written statement, also declined to give full information on sales ending.
“The Multi-State Association is focused on protecting the integrity of its game and the experience of its players,” she said adding that “We work closely with the Illinois Lottery, and all lotteries selling Powerball, to achieve those objectives. … Matters involving the Illinois Lottery should be directed to Illinois officials.”
Mega Millions officials have yet to comment.
Illinois Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and Democrats have been deadlocked since 2015 on a budget agreement.
Northstar Lottery Group was originally terminated under former Gov. Patrick Quinn but was re-hired by Gov. Bruce Rauner. the company is charged with running the lottery in the State.
Dave Syverson, a Republican State Senator said that changes can take place during the special session that would allow funding transfers involving lottery to be automatically done without legislatures’ approval.
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