Arkansas lottery chief keeps job

Thursday January 13th 2011

The director of Arkansas’ lottery has kept his job following a showdown with members of the state’s lottery commission yesterday. The lottery was launched in 2009 with Ernie Passailaigue at the helm, but the operation soon ran into problems which were discovered during a number of audits by the state. According to a report by The Associated Press, financial statements were not compiled according to accepted accounting standards, and it was revealed that compensation had been wrongly paid to executives.

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However, following yesterday’s meeting Arkansas Lottery Commission chairman, Dianne Lamberth, praised the work Mr Passailaigue had done.

She said: “He's done an exemplary job on the gaming side. I think everybody had some positive things and some improvement things for Mr Passailaigue.”

Mr Passailaigue would not disclose what was said during the closed session.

The Arkansas lottery is designed to generate money to pay for school scholarships, and the commission concluded that more needed to be done to encourage people in the state to buy lotto tickets. The draw’s aim is to raise $105million for the scholarship fund by the end of June – the current total stands at $46.1million.

Written by Brett Levenson

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