A bill to privatize the Oklahoma lottery has been approved by the Senate and is being considered by a House committee.

The proposal would create an eight-person review board that would determine if the state would receive more money from the lottery if it were privatized. If six of the eight members find that to be the case, and the governor approves their findings, a private company would be allowed to take over the lottery operations.

If the lottery company failed to meet terms and standards negotiated by the Lottery Asset Review Board, the state would terminate the contract.

Sen. John Ford said his measure, SB 2173, would protect the 35% of lottery earnings that currently are allocated to the Education Lottery Trust Fund for distribution to higher and public education in Oklahoma.

“I personally voted against the lottery in 2004, and I’ve never bought a ticket, but the majority of Oklahoma voters said they wanted an education lottery,” Ford said. “This measure is aimed at making sure our schools can get the maximum benefit while getting the state out of the gambling business.”

Ford is a Republican who represents Craig, Nowata, and Washington counties.

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