Illinois Lottery Private Manager Short on Profits

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- State officials say the Illinois Lottery's private operator faces a $20 million penalty because it fell $66 million short of its promised profits.

The state said Monday that Northstar Lottery Group promised to generate $823 million in net income in fiscal 2012, but brought in $757 million.

Northstar official Avis LaVelle says the company is surprised and doesn't know how the state came up with its figures.

The profit targets are part of an agreement between Northstar and the Illinois Lottery. The state says Northstar must pay $20 million if it doesn't reach the target.

Northstar took over lottery management in July 2011. State officials say it must pay the penalty even though its sales were nearly $400 million higher than in the last year the state administered the lottery.

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