New Lottery Game Approved in NJ; Opponents Not Happy

by Kyle Miller

Quick DrawNJ Governor Chris Christie approves new lottery game and opponents remain unhappy with the decision.

Last week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie decided to allow a new game to be offered by the lottery. Lawmakers are hoping that Quick Draw will provide additional revenues for the state. New Jersey relies heavy on a variety of gaming options in order to provide much-needed funds for various programs of the state. The new game is a keno-style option that will provide players with the ability to win as much as $100,000 with a bet of $1. Despite the game being accepted by players and approved by some lawmakers, there are still those who are opposed.

Quick Draw

With the new game, lottery players have ample opportunity to win quality cash prizes for very little money. During the game, players will choose as many as ten numbers from 1 to 80. The goal is to match the numbers in order to win a prize. Drawings take place every five minutes so there are many times that players can play the game and hopefully earn a win.

The game is available to visitors and residents of the state via bars and restaurants. Games can easily be enjoyed during an evening out with friends or when having lunch with co-workers. The goal of the new game is to create new interest in the lottery and see an increase in sales. The game is expected to bring in as much as $20 million in a year time frame.

End Goal

The target of the money produced by the lottery is the public pension fund. The state needs to bring money to this plan in order to fill a budget shortfall of around $50 billion. Usually, the lottery uses funds to provide money for education. However, in New Jersey, the lottery is a contributor to the public pension fund. Educators have yet to state any opposition to the change in how the funds are being used, as they have a need for the pension fund and see that the situation for money has become a dire one.

Where does the Opposition come in?

As we mentioned, there is opposition towards the new Quick Draw game. Northstar New Jersey is the vendor hired by the state to oversee the sales and marketing plans of the lottery. The group is on the bad side of lawmakers as they have been unable to perform in regards to expectation. In 2015, Chris Christie agreed to lower the goals of the state in terms of lottery revenues as the company was unable to meet benchmarks set.

During that time, keno was not allowed as part of the lottery. With Quick Draw, legislators now feel that the expectations of revenues for Northstar should be back at their previous levels. This is because lawmakers feel the game provides a new stream of revenues for the company. Yet, with the deal provided by Christie in 2015, the incentive for the company to beat projections is no longer there. Because of this, the state may not see the increase in revenue they are hoping for with the Quick Draw game.

Christie is set to leave office by January and it is uncertain as to if Northstar will remain the overseer of the lottery. Legislators who do not approve of the company’s progress may choose to take action and try to hire a new company to take over.

Overall, residents and visitors of New Jersey have a new keno game to enjoy during trips to local bars and restaurants. It will be interesting to see how the game fares and if players take to a new option via the lottery.