The Formation of NASL
The North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL) was founded in 1971 as the National Association of State Lotteries (NASL).
The advantages of lotteries exchanging information and working together were first recognized in 1969 during the implementation of the New Jersey State Lottery. To develop a lottery concept, which could be utilized as the framework for the New Jersey State Lottery Law, a planning commission was appointed by the Governor. Ralph Batch, a member of this commission and the first Executive Director of the New Jersey Lottery, was delegated to explore known sources for available data, which might be of assistance. To achieve this objective, Batch solicited the assistance of the existing lotteries in New Hampshire, New York, Québec and Puerto Rico.
These advantages were further reinforced just prior to the New Jersey start-up when the Federal Regulatory Agencies of the banking industry notified the Lottery that the procedures developed with the assistance of the New Jersey banking authorities were not in conformance with the federal statute, the net result being that all banks would be prohibited from participating in the Lottery program. Once again, the New Jersey Lottery turned to existing lotteries for important data, seeking and receiving information from New York and New Hampshire regarding their experience with the banking industry. An emergency meeting was held with government regulatory agencies, and a program allowing utilization of the banking network was approved for all existing and future U.S. lotteries
From this cooperative exchange of data, great benefit was derived not only by New Jersey, but other jurisdictions, as well. It became apparent to all involved that the exchange of information and the communication which naturally ensues among organizations with a common purpose not only enhances the efficiency of the individual lotteries, but also at the same time intensifies their defenses against contrary forces.
From this environment of mutual assistance, the National Association of State Lotteries (NASL) emerged. In September 1971, Edward Powers, Director of the New Hampshire Lottery, Ernest Byrd, Director of the New York Lottery, and Ralph Batch, Director of the New Jersey Lottery assembled at a resort hotel in New Hampshire. With an eye to the obvious fact that other states would eventually join the Association, Powers, Byrd and Batch created NASL with the following purpose:
- To exchange information and ideas of mutual interest, particularly those that related to the integrity, security and efficiency of each state lottery;
- To coordinate efforts to amend the federal statutes regulating state lotteries which unnecessarily restricted the abilities of state lotteries to operate and serve the public in an efficient manner.
- To establish methods and procedures by which meetings of officials of state lotteries and a regular exchange of information could take place.
At the initial meeting, Batch was elected NASL President, Powers, Vice President and Byrd, Secretary/Treasurer. It was determined that the members would meet on a quarterly basis, attendance at closed NASL executive sessions would be limited to chief administrative officers, with no substitutes permitted and no guests would be allowed without prior approval of the majority of the membership. These precautions, with attendance restrictions, were to ensure an atmosphere of equal exchange and confidentiality. In fairness to all members, it was necessary to ensure that each attendee would be in a position to offer as much to the assembly as would be received.
When the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania Lotteries joined the Association in 1972, the Maryland Lottery in 1973, and Illinois, Maine, Rhode Island and Ohio in 1974, NASL started growing. When a concerted effort was launched by NASL, governors and congressional delegations from the lottery states, lottery commission members and other interested parties to make Congress aware of the unfair, archaic and discriminatory statutes affecting and prohibiting the sovereign states from raising much-needed revenue, the unified voice of state lotteries began to become evident.
Federal Commission for the Review of the National Policy on Gambling
In January 1974, the Federal Commission for the Review of the National Policy on Gambling met for the first time for the purpose of conducting research and establishing policy guidelines for the federal administration and Congress. Midway through the commission’s data-gathering process, it was discovered that the Commission’s projections for revenue-raising potential were grossly underestimated; and it became apparent that the study was not going to be as objective as had been hoped.
At the same time that the Commission’s impartiality was becoming questionable, the Internal Revenue Service was also seeking to establish withholding and special reporting requirements affecting state lotteries. This combined threat to the health and effectiveness of state lotteries once again rallied NASL members to the common cause of protecting themselves from the federal government. To assist in this effort, NASL retained the services of Duane Burke, President of Public Gaming Research Institute, to help coordinate the Association’s activities in relation to the federal government. Although the IRS sought to impose a 20 percent withholding requirement on all lottery prizes, the lottery states, working in unison, were able to reduce the impact so that the requirement was only imposed on prizes of $5,000 or more. Also, the reporting requirements, as originally proposed by the IRS, were modified for the benefit of state lotteries.
Public Law 93-583
With federal authorities continuing enforcement of broadcast laws, the new lotteries and those already established were still tightly restricted in their ability to promote their products. Although many bills were introduced, Congress showed little interest in exempting the lottery states from the federal anti-lottery statutes until Attorney General William B. Saxbe warned in August 1974 that he was considering legal action to halt state lottery operations unless Congress acted within 90 days to exempt the state lotteries. In September, Saxbe summoned representatives of the 13 existing lottery states to Washington, D.C. Finally, on December 20, 1974, Congress passed Public Law 93-583 amending the anti-lottery laws. The changes allowed an intra-state use of the mails, and the use of radio and television in marketing lottery products, making it possible for the lotteries to advertise and communicate within their individual state borders.
During the period of 1974 to 1976, NASPL members, working together, were able to effect significant actions that facilitated the operation of state lotteries. In each case, the need for a united front was occasioned by a proposal or action by the federal government.
NASL Meetings, Bylaws, and Objectives
In 1976, the Association decided to meet only three times per year -- once in a general session open to both members and associate members, and twice in closed executive session. Also, in the late 1970’s, the purposes, objectives and duties of the Association were brought into sharper focus, and an expanded set of bylaws were introduced and adopted by the membership. To the original three purposes, the following were added:
- To establish a regular liaison among the officials of state lotteries to facilitate communication regarding matters of mutual interest;
- To promote recognition of the importance of maintaining public confidence and support for state lotteries as a means of generating revenue to meet public needs;
- To provide assistance to other states which may be interested in establishing state lotteries; and
- To investigate the feasibility of coordinating the lottery operations of the several stated.
During the 1978-1980 term of office, the NASL President, John Winchester, worked to improve the Association by concentrating on its main objectives, including the coordination of efforts to amend Federal statutes adversely affecting state lotteries, the maintenance of public confidence and support for state-run lotteries, and the continuing study of all forms of gambling for possible implementation into lottery product mix.
1980 - 1989
Between 1980 and 1989, NASL membership, under the leadership of Lynn Nelson, John Quinn, Martin Puncke, Guy Simonis and J. Blaine Lewis, Jr., took an enormous leap with eighteen U.S. lotteries coming onboard as members of the Association. Added to the 19 existing members, the Association grew to 37 by the end of the decade.
In 1984, the Association determined that the name of the organization -- the National Association of State Lotteries (NASL) -- was not appropriate because of the membership of the Canadian lotteries and the name was changed to the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL).
In 1988, NASPL held its first Conference with a trade show in Cincinnati, Ohio in a joint effort with Public Gaming Research Institute.
In 1989, the Association divided the member lotteries into four regions and added regional directors to the organization. This action set the stage for regional conferences and ease of travel for lottery staff that would not be attending the annual fall NASPL conferences.
By 1990, membership in the Association continued to grow, and it was decided that the Association should no longer be managed from the NASPL President’s state. Under the leadership of NASPL President James E. Hosker, William S. Bergman & Associates, an outside association management firm, was recruited to manage the Association from their offices in Washington, D.C.
First NASPL Publication
To further expand the exchange of information, in mid-1993, the NASPL Association contracted for an eight-page newsletter, Lottery Insights, which was distributed on a monthly basis to the membership. (In March 1997, the publication was brought in-house.)
Lottery College Begins
In 1994, NASPL, in joint cooperation with B.R.I.D.G.E. (Bi-National Regional Initiative Developing Greater Education), held its first week-long Lottery College in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The College attracted 43 delegates from Canada, the U.S., Australia and Europe. Enrollment was open to Lottery executives, vice presidents, senior managers, directors and vendors and provided industry professionals with a unique lottery learning and networking opportunity.
By 1995, NASPL had grown to 46 members. Due to increasing NASPL obligations, the Association hired its first full-time management team, DBG Consulting, Inc. in March 1995 and named David B. Gale, Executive Director. At this time, the NASPL Headquarters was moved to Cleveland, Ohio from Washington, D.C. Also in this year, NASPL was busy coordinating the activities of lotteries in dealing with the Internal Revenue Service on assignment of prizes.
During 1996, NASPL dealt with pertinent issues, such as the finalization of plans to offer an accreditation program for lottery professionals; the coordination of a joint conference with A.I.L.E./Intertoto in Vancouver, hosted by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation; and the formation of a Task Force to consider NASPL’s involvement with the National Gambling Impact Study Commission.
National Gambling Impact Study Commission
In August 1996, the President of the U.S. signed into law the National Gambling Impact Study Commission Act, and a Commission was created to study the social and economic impact of gambling in the U.S.
In 1997, NASPL attempted to secure representation on the National Gambling Impact Study Commission, and failing in that, then to establish a relationship with the staff and members of the NGISC. This time period heralded the beginning of the Commission’s gathering of information and its formal meetings which continued throughout 1998 and part of 1999, until June when the final report was issued.
Altogether, many NASPL members were deeply involved, responding to the media, testifying, attending meetings and keeping the membership totally informed. And the membership, in turn, provided the Commission with literally box loads of information. Because there was no lottery representation on the Commission, three NASPL Presidents (Dr. Edward Stanek, Commissioner of the Iowa Lottery; Rebecca Paul, President of the Georgia Lottery; and George R. Andersen, Director of the Minnesota Lottery) had to work doubly hard trying to provide accurate information at meetings and to the media. But despite all efforts, their information seemed to fall on deaf ears and resulted in what Dr. Edward Stanek (NASPL President 1996-97) had predicted very early in the game: "The deck was stacked and the dice were loaded!" The June report specifically targeted lotteries and myths and inaccuracies continued.
The first NASPL Dialogue was held in April 1998 in Cleveland, Ohio. The purpose of this dialogue was to include the vendor community in discussions with members of the NASPL Executive Committee regarding the "state of affairs" of our industry.
Ott Brown Scholarship Program
Also in mid-1998, the Ott Brown Scholarship Program was established in recognition of Ott Brown, the late President of the Connecticut Lottery Corporation. This award represents much of what was important to Ott Brown and creates opportunities for people to learn and grow. The program designates that NASPL will award one lottery professional a scholarship that will allow the recipient to attend the Lottery Leadership Institute.
Public Sector Gaming Study Commission
In early 1999, to counteract the expected bias of the NGISC report, the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS) created a Public Sector Gaming Study Commission (PSGSC) and named a tenured professor from Florida State University, Dr. Lance deHaven-Smith, as Executive Director of the Commission. NASPL’s Immediate Past President, Rebecca Paul, was also selected to serve as Vice President of the Commission. When the final report of this Commission was published in March 2000, much of what the lottery industry had been saying was vindicated.
2000 - 2009
NASPL Monthly Publication
In January 2000, NASPL began offering subscriptions to its new magazine-size publication, Lottery Insights. Starting with an eight-page membership only newsletter in the early nineties, NASPL is distributed its publication to industry subscribers throughout the world. In mid-2000, the membership voted to include advertising in the monthly publication. Advertising appeared for the first time in the September/October 2000 Conference issue and revenue was used to fund educational conferences.
In 2001, the new South Carolina Education Lottery and the Mexico Lottery (Loteria Nacional Para La Asistencia Publica) officially joined NASPL. These new members brought the membership total to 47 which consisted of 38 U.S. state lotteries, the District of Columbia, 5 Canadian provincial lotteries, 2 U.S. island lotteries (Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico) and the Mexico Lottery.
NASPL Standardization Project (NSI)
Preliminary planning for a NASPL Standardization Project began in 2001 and the project was officially endorsed by the NASPL membership at its Spring Directors' Meeting in 2002.
The Tennessee Lottery (2004), and North Dakota Lottery (2004) officially joined NASPL. These new members increased the membership total to 50 lotteries.
In 2005, NASPL Lottery College was retooled to create the NASPL Lottery Leadership Institute (LLI). Like its predecessor, LLI helped identify and prepare future leaders. Participants were engaged in a two-part Institute program focusing on increasing sales and revenue growth.
In 2006 The North Carolina Education Lottery was launched and became a member of NASPL, their membership increased the membership total to 51 lotteries.
In 2007, The Louisiana Lottery Corporation was the first lottery to achieve (NSI) verification. The organization verified in the two areas of Quality Assurance (QA) Best Practices applicable to lotteries: Requirements Definition and Acceptance Testing.
Starting with the July/August 2009 issue of Lottery Insights, NASPL began to publish the magazine online.
In 2009, the new Arkansas Scholarship Lottery officially joined NASPL. Arkansas increased the association’s membership to 52 lottery members.
2010 - Present
In 2010, NASPL launched the ability to collect sales data for its sales research through an online questionnaire. The capability was part of NASPL’s “Green Initiative” introduced by Kansas Lottery Executive Director Ed Van Petten. The current effort is related to the Fundamental Information Research Exchange Project (F.I.R.E.) that was created and implemented as a result of NASPL’s Lottery College initiative.
Led by NASPL President Margaret DeFrancisco and First Vice President Ed Trees, NASPL members started the 2010 Cross Sell Effort. This initiative called for U.S. Lottery jurisdictions that only sold Powerball and/or Mega Millions tickets to begin selling both games at the same time.