Iowa Lottery director Ed Stanek says a couple of employees at the Lottery have lost their jobs since the Legislature ordered the TouchPlay machines shut down on May 4th. Stanek says two people hired for the TouchPlay program have been laid off and they hope that some others can be absorbed into other positions within the Iowa Lottery.
As for the thousands of idle TouchPlay machines, Stanek says he hasn’t been able to find any place for them. Stanek says he’s had conversations with other states, but the timing, bidding processes and financial constraints of others has made it tough to find a fit.
Stanek can’t say the machines will simply become junk. He says he doesn’t know that for a fact, but he says all the avenues they’ve looked into have failed to result in anything. Stanek says the TouchPlay machines are not very adaptable for other states. He says there are similar machines in other jurisdictions, but he says those machines have very strict technical and legal requirements, making the TouchPlay machines very specific for Iowa.
Stanek was asked if there will be an attempt in the legislature next session to bring the TouchPlay machines back in a limited manner to avoid the concerns that led to their shutdown. Stanek says, “That’s not up to me to decide.” Stanek made his comments following the Iowa Lottery Board’s meeting Monday in Des Moines.