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Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions
Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library
Minnesota State Lottery
Function: The director will: adopt rules and game procedures, employ personnel to operate the lottery, issue retailer contracts and rule on decisions relating to those contracts, enter into lottery procurement contracts for the provision of goods and services to the lottery, adopt and publish promotional materials, enter into written agreements with one or more government-authorized lotteries, or with an organization created and controlled by those lotteries for the operation, marketing, and promotion of a joint lottery, and ensure the integrity and public confidence in the State Lottery.
Active dates:1989 -
In 1988 several years of debate over creation of a state lottery resulted in the legislature's decision to place the issue before the voters. A constitutional amendment to relax the constitution's ban on lotteries to allow a state-operated lottery was approved by the voters at the November 8, 1988 election with a 58 percent majority, and legislation to create the lottery was enacted the next year.
The 1989 law made the lottery a state agency but one with an unprecedented degree of autonomy. Lottery funds were established outside the state treasury and the lottery director, while still a gubernatorial appointee, was largely insulated from politics. A lottery commission was established, but its function was strictly to advise the director. The future direction of the lottery was indicated by a legislative requirement that the lottery pay out as prizes at least 45 percent of gross receipts from on-line lottery games (games such as numbers and lotto that are played with computer terminals), and at least 50 percent, eventually reaching 60 percent, of gross receipts as prizes for instant games.
The Minnesota State Lottery began selling tickets in April of 1990, starting with only instant games. In August of that year the first on-line games were added, as well as the multistate LottoAmerica game and a daily numbers game. The Minnesota-only Gopher 5 Lotto game was added in 1991, and LottoAmerica became Powerball in 1992.
(History taken from Minnesota House Research publication: The Minnesota State Lottery, 2006).
Director appointed by the governor. The director appoints personnel as necessary to operate the lottery in accordance with chapter 43A. One position must be an attorney position and that person will perform legal duties for the lottery.
Executive Director: Robert Doty (May 1, 2017 - ); Michael Vekich (Interim Director, February 3, 2016 - May 2017); Edwin Van Petten (February 28, 2012 - December 18, 2015); Jenny Canfield (Acting Executive Director, Summer 2011 - 2012?); Clint Harris (October 11, 2004 - Summer 2011); Michael Vekich (Interim Director, February 3, 2004 - October 2004); George Andersen (October 1989 - January 27, 2004).
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