The sale and redemption of Iowa Lottery games has resumed in the four far northwest Iowa counties after a communications problem shut them down early Saturday. Iowa Lottery spokeswoman, Mary Neubauer, says the problem involved the communication link between the lottery and the terminals in Lyon, Osceola, Sioux and O’Brien counties.
Neubauer says some cell towers in northwest Iowa were sold from one cell provider to another and in the process the service was cut off to lottery terminals. Neubauer says some of the retailers in those counties are linked to the lottery via a satellite connection and they were able to continue running, but the others had to wait for a fix.
She says the outage started a little after midnight Saturday and continued through this morning when they were able to figure out a fix for the system. The counties involved have local sales, but also get sales from neighboring states across the border. Neubauer says it’s too early to tell how much the three-day downtime may’ve cost.
Neubauer says the lottery has a contract with a system provider that provides the terminals and the communications link. “So we’ll be looking at that, because we may need to go back to our system provider and have some discussions with them about the impact from the lost sales,” Neubauer says. The retailers could sell and redeem pull-tab tickets as they don’t require the lottery terminal. But the terminals are required to redeem the other lottery games.