It is reported that the five-member lottery board met at the Balch & Bingham law offices in Jackson, Mississippi, to discuss the adoption of a set of ethics rules. The rules state which of the lottery’s documents and records would be made public, and which would need to remain undisclosed due to the sensitive nature of the information they contain. That could include records pertaining to the lottery’s security, or confidential information about lottery retailers.
The board also adopted rules to state that lottery employees - right up to director level staff - must not have any financial interest in vendors that sell lottery products, and that they cannot be employed by lottery vendors until one year after they cease working for the Mississippi Lottery Corporation.
Rules like these will help to maintain the transparency of the Mississippi Lottery and ensure its games are run fairly. This is an important step for any new lottery and will help to prevent corruption, such as that which led to the Hot Lotto scandal of 2017.
The Mississippi Lottery board will also decide which firm will handle the corporation’s finances, after hearing proposals from BancorpSouth and Hancock Whitney Bank. “These are both high-quality institutions, as far as I know,” board member Gerard Gibert said.
Governor Phil Bryant appointed the five-person board of the Mississippi Lottery Corporation in October 2018, after legislation passed in August to allow the formation of a state lottery. Alongside Gibert, who is the CEO of a technology firm, were appointed loan fund CEO Kimberley LaRosa, Phillip Chamblee, who is Executive Director of the Mississippi Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores Association, leader of Indianola and West Tallahatchie school districts Cass Pennington, and Mike McGrevey, the Deputy Director of the Mississippi Development Authority.
Each of the board members will serve five-year terms before new members are appointed. The board has estimated that the Mississippi Lottery will be operational by the end of 2019.