HALLOWELL — Maine State Lottery games continue as usual while state officials decide what to do about contracting for future online game services.

A six-year contract awarded a year ago to low bidder Intralot, of Athens, Greece, was invalidated after Scientific Games of Alpharetta, Ga. — the current holder of the contract — appealed the state’s initial award to Intralot, saying it was based on a flawed scoring mechanism.

The ruling was upheld last week by a judge in superior court, and an Intralot spokesman said this week that company will not appeal.

Intralot spokesman Byron Boothe said Friday the firm — which could have filed an appeal to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court — “will not pursue this issue any further.”

Scientific Games — which has about 22 employees in offices in Gardiner and has held the contract now for about a dozen years — will provide online game services and scratch ticket printing until June 30, 2012.

What happens after that is a matter being examined by Timothy R. Poulin, acting director of the state Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations, who must decide how to move forward.

“We’re exploring and talking with folks at the Bureau of Purchasing and with (Assistant Attorney General) Bill Laubenstein to see what our choices are, and what is in the best interests of the lottery and the state,” Poulin said Friday.

Poulin said options include forming a committee to re-evaluate three bids initially submitted in 2010, or to issue a new request for proposals.

The bidders in 2010 were Intralot, Scientific games and GTech Corporation, based in Providence, R.I.

The firms were bidding on a contract to do online gaming services, which includes Megabucks Plus, Powerball, and other state and multijurisdictional online games; as well as accounting and validation for Maine’s scratch tickets.

The bids are essentially for a percentage of sales: GTech’s bid was 2.599 percent; Scientific Games’ was 2.4 percent; and Intralot’s was 2.3 percent.

The bids were evaluated on a 2,000-point system that took into account the bid amount and such technical criteria as facilities, software controls and data management.

The current contract calls for the state to pay Scientific Games 4.75 percent of total sales.

Poulin said the state’s intent is to seek scratch ticket bids separately in the future.

“Most states don’t have both in one contract,” Poulin said. “We believe (the cost) would be less if we went out to a separate printing contract for instant tickets.”

In Maine, scratch tickets account for 70 percent of total sales. For these, the state nets 18 cents on each dollar in profit.

For Powerball, the state nets 32 cents on each dollar’s worth of Powerball tickets sold.

“We don’t have to sell as much,” he said.

A state-controlled lottery was first approved by Maine voters in 1973. Average annual lottery sales in Maine for the past two fiscal years were $217 million and $216.4 million, respectively.

This is not the first time a lottery contract has been appealed.

In January 2000, Autotote Lottery Corp. of Christiana, Del., appealed the state’s award of the gaming contract to Scientific Games.

That appeal also was based on alleged irregularities in the scoring process.

The lottery contributes an average of $50 million to the state’s General Fund each year.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

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