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updated: 7/1/2011 5:05 AM

Private company begins managing Illinois Lottery

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Associated Press

A private company is officially taking over management of Illinois' lottery with a promise to boost sales and revenue.

Gov. Pat Quinn chose Northstar Lottery Group earlier this year and the company is taking over Friday. The company will be paid a $15-million-a-year management fee and a percentage of profits it produces above $650 million.

Northstar officials say they're focusing on attracting new players and getting current players to play more often. They also will bring more instant games.

Northstar CEO Connie Laverty O'Connor tells the (Springfield) State Journal Register that players will see a "new energy."

Northstar is a consortium of three companies that held contracts with Illinois Lottery before the decision to privatize management.

Although the lottery will be privately managed, the state retains ownership and ultimate control.