(AP) — The private company chosen to run the Hoosier Lottery says it won't
target low-income neighborhoods to boost sales but will replace retailers
in those areas who leave its network.
approach is similar to one it adopted in Illinois, where company officials
say they wound up with one less retailer in poor neighborhoods. But
critics say the company's failure to disclose which Indiana ZIP codes it's
targeting for expansion by heavily redacting its business plan suggests it
has something to hide.
imagine any kind of trade secret that would be disclosed by saying which
ZIP codes they plan to target. I would bet a week's pay those ZIP codes
would line up with some of the most disadvantaged ZIP codes in Indiana,"
state Sen. Brent Waltz, R-Greenwood, told The Indianapolis Star. "The only
reason I would want to hide that is if it was something that from a public
relations perspective is very damaging."
Island-based GTECH, which won the contract to oversee daily Hoosier
Lottery operations in October, says it plans to aggressively expand the
number of Indiana retailers selling lottery tickets as part of an effort
to increase state revenue by $500 million over the next five years. The
list of stores it plans to target includes Dollar General, Family Dollar,
Dollar Tree and Wal-Mart.
business plan includes a section titled "Retailer Penetration Targets by
Zip Code." The plan also says increased advertising "is critical" but
redacts all references to dollar figures.
chairman of the State Lottery Commission, told the Star in November that
GTECH would not target areas where income is below 60 percent of the state
goal is to not increase in those areas," GTECH spokeswoman Angela Wiczek
the company does plan to replace retailers in those areas that stop
selling tickets. A similar strategy was employed in Illinois, where in
2011 Northstar Lottery Group, a partnership led by GTECH, became the first
company in the nation to take over a state's lottery operations.
analysis found that the company attracted more than 230 new retailers in
census tract neighborhoods with incomes less than 60 percent of the state
average in its first year. That represents more than 20 percent of the
1,143 new retailers GTECH added during that timeframe.
GTECH committed not to target ZIP codes where average household income was
$30,000, or about 53 percent of the Illinois average. By that by that
standard, she said, GTECH added only 65 new retailers in "off-limit" ZIP
codes, and those replaced 66 other retailers in low-income ZIP codes that
left the lottery's network.
"We are not
increasing retailer penetration in those ZIP codes," she said.
Lottery officials say GTECH will be allowed to replace retailers in
low-income ZIP codes that leave the lottery's network but cannot offer its
sales associates incentives to canvass in those areas. Instead, GTECH can
add new retailers in those areas through routine visits by lottery
associates, general advertising and word of mouth, said Geoff DePriest,
director of business plan compliance for the lottery.
estimated that only 6 percent to 7 percent of Indiana's lottery retailers
are in ZIP codes where income is below 60 percent of the state average.
those who can least afford to play will still be affected by the expansion
citizens are an easy prey to the false promises of the lottery industry,"
said the Rev. Dan Gangler, spokesman for the Indiana Conference of the
United Methodist Church.