The Iowa Lottery Board met in a closed session for an hour this morning (Friday) during their regular meeting to talk about possible lawsuits surrounding the shutdown of the TouchPlay machines.
Lottery C-E-O Ed Stanek would not elaborate on the board’s discussion. Stanek says the agenda said they would discuss “potential or imminent litigation, and that’s what we discussed, and as a result of that I can’t comment on it.” Stanek spoke with reporters for the first time since the governor signed legislation March 20th shutting down the machines. He was asked what economic impact the shutdown will have on the Iowa Lottery. He says, “Because it’s in the context of potential litigation, I don’t think I can comment on it.”
Stanek was asked to comment on how he thought the Iowa Lottery might be viewed after developing the machines, and then having the Legislature shut them down. Stanek says, “The Legislature can exercise its prerogative. No legislature can bind a future legislature. Our job is to do what the legislature and governor tell us to do.” Stanek says there are approximately 64-hundred of the machines in around two-thousand locations in the state, and they will have to be shut down by midnight on May 3rd.
The Iowa Lottery had estimated the machines would reap 45 million dollars for the state in the next budgeting year. Stanek says the lottery hasn’t looked at developing something to replace the TouchPlay machines. Stanek says, “There’s not any type of game that could replace it, in terms of magnitude of income.”
Stanek says the Iowa Lottery is moving forward with plans to shut the machines down.
Stanek says they’ve just begun and have issued notices to the machine’s manufacturers, and the businesses that own them.
The Lottery Board today also approved a rule that TouchPlay tickets can be redeemed no more than 90 days after the machines are shut down. Stanek says if you purchase a winning ticket with a prize over 600 dollars on the last day, you have 90 days to redeem the ticket. Stanek says the many of the TouchPlay machines can be shut down via computer from the Iowa Lottery headquarters. He says others will have to be manually shut down.