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The History of NASPL

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 startup 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 by 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 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, Executive 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 state lottery officials 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.

1972 - 1975

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 was 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; 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 intrastate 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, NASL 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.

1976 - 1980

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 1970s, 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.

  • To investigate the feasibility of coordinating lottery operations of the several states.


During the 1978-1980 term of office, 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, the NASL membership, under the leadership of Lynn Nelson, John Quinn, Martin Puncke, Guy Simonis and J. Blaine Lewis, Jr., took an enormous leap with 18 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.


​NASL Changes to NASPL

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).


​First NASPL Conference/Trade Show

In 1988, NASPL held its first conference with a trade show in Cincinnati, Ohio, in a joint effort with Public Gaming Research Institute.


​Creation of NASPL Regions

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.


​1990 - 1993

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.


​ILID Developed

During the NASPL Presidency of Cluny Macpherson in 1992, the ILID (International Lottery Information Database), an online central information source developed by NASPL and the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, made its premiere appearance at the NASPL conference in Richmond, Va.


​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. B.R.I.D.G.E. is a consortium of Lake Superior State University in Michigan, and Algoma University College and Sault College of Applied Arts and Technology in Ontario, Canada. 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.



Full-Time Association Management Team Hired

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 its 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.


​1996 - 1999

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 United States 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, to then 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 into 1999; the final report was issued in June 1999.

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.

​NASPL Dialogue

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 the industry.


​Lottery Management Certificate Program

In 1998, the Lottery Management Certificate Program came to fruition and enrollment began in December. The program signaled a new direction for professional development in the lottery industry. The curriculum was designed to bring managers to the levels of competence and knowledge that were identified in two studies commissioned by NASPL in 1995. The Certificate Program consists of foundation level courses in communications, quality management and human relations, with advanced level courses in business management and issues and ethics. The program was developed to be delivered on a distance education basis.


​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 allowing the recipient to attend and complete the NASPL Lottery Management Certificate Program at no cost, and also includes participation in the week-long NASPL Lottery College.


​NASPL Regions Reworked

In the fall of 1998, NASPL reorganized its four regional boundaries in an attempt to shorten the travel for regional member lotteries to attend regional conferences.


​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.


​NASPL Website

By mid-1999, with the assistance of several key players, NASPL launched its website, which now has become one of the most informative and useful sites on the internet concerning lotteries.


​IRS Again

The latter part of 1999 found NASPL and individual lottery members once again working together with the Internal Revenue Service on issues involving cash options.



NASPL Committees

By 2000, the Association increased its number of actively working committees to nine: Vendor and Retail Relations, Awards, Bylaws, Education and Training, Accounting and Administration, Legal and Legislative, Research and Resources, Sales and Marketing, and Security and Accounting. In addition, director members chair six NASPL Subcommittees as follows: Warehouse and Distribution, Legal, Security, Audit, Accounting, Information Technology, and Chief Financial Officers.


NASPL Monthly Publication

In January 2000, NASPL began offering subscriptions to its new magazine-sized publication, Lottery Insights. Starting with an eight-page membership-only newsletter in the early nineties, NASPL now began distributing its publication to industry subscribers throughout North America and abroad. 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 regional conferences.


​NASPL Lottery Resources Handbook

Also in January 2000, NASPL began offering subscriptions to its new Lottery Resources Handbook. An annual subscription to the Handbook also included access to the NASPL International Lottery Data Base (ILID) program, which contained up-to-date lottery sales statistics and a variety of other statistical information.


NASPL Trade Shows

By the end of 1999, the Association had held 12 NASPL annual conferences with trade shows managed by outside contractors. In 2000, the NASPL membership voted to bring the management and coordination of the annual trade show in-house and eliminated sponsorships. NASPL 2000 was the first trade show handled in-house and coordinated without sponsorships.


NASPL Dialogue
In February 2000, a second NASPL Dialogue between the NASPL Executive Committee and vendor community was held in Cleveland, Ohio. The dialogue evolved into an annual event.


In March 2000, NASPL and WLA worked together to hold a world summit meeting at the Westin Peachtree in Atlanta, Ga. More than 125 lottery industry personnel from around the world participated.


​NASPL Exchange Program

In the spring of 2000, Gregory Ziemak, then NASPL President and Executive Director of the Kansas Lottery, introduced the concept of the NASPL Exchange Program to the membership. The purpose of the program was to give lottery staff the opportunity to see how other lotteries function and to gain a different perspective. The program involved lottery staff members being chosen to work within their field at different lotteries for a specific time period.


2001 - 2005

Regional Conferences

Starting in 2001, NASPL began coordinating in-house the educational track and speakers for all regional conferences.


​New Members

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, five Canadian provincial lotteries, two U.S. island lotteries (Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico) and the Mexico Lottery.



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. During 2004, the Best Practices for Quality Assurance (QA) and the Technical Standard for Bar Codes on Instant Tickets were approved. Certification for Quality Assurance became available that same year (2004). Certification for the Technical Standard for Bar Codes on Instant Tickets began in 2005.


​In 2003 NASPL headquarters took over the day-to-day management and coordination of the NASPL Resource Link. This database displayed current lottery sales figures.


​The Aruba Lottery (2003), Tennessee Lottery (2004) and North Dakota Lottery (2004) officially joined NASPL. These new members increased the membership total to 50 lotteries.


​In 2005 NASPL’s 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.


​Beginning in December 2005, NASPL introduced a new meeting format. NASPL Subcommittee Meetings replaced the previous NASPL Regional Conferences. The change enabled NASPL to focus on more specialized and job-specific training sessions while providing networking opportunities. There were 10 active NASPL Subcommittees which included Accounting, Information Technology, Internal Audit, Retailer Relations, Legal, Public Relations, Responsible Gaming, Sales/Marketing, Security and Warehouse and Distribution.


2006 - 2009

The North Carolina Education Lottery (2006) and Arkansas Scholarship Lottery (2009) were launched and became members of NASPL.


​The Kentucky Lottery hosted World Meet ‘07, a joint conference planned by NASPL and the World Lottery Association (WLA). The event was the third World Meet held; the previous two events were held in Vancouver, B.C. (1996) and Albuquerque, N.M. (2001).


​The NASPL Standards Initiative (NSI) launched the Barcode Technical Standard. During 2007, the remaining work on XML, Global RFP, and Retailer Websites was concluded. 


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.


​2008 began by NASPL working with the U.S. Treasury department on a lottery-specific credit card transaction code. Purchases and transactions made with credit and check cards were being blocked by the banking industry in an attempt to control illegal internet gambling.


​NSI completed work on its final deliverable, the Management of Instant Ticket Process Best Practices, and moved into a verification/certification only role.


​Starting with the July/August 2009 issue of Lottery Insights, NASPL began to publish the magazine online in addition to its print edition.


​2010 - 2017

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 then Kansas Lottery Executive Director Ed Van Petten. 


​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 or Mega Millions tickets to begin selling both games.


​Inspired by President Jeff Anderson (2012), NASPL launched its new research site “The NASPL Matrix” during the Fall of 2013. The word “Matrix” means “something within or from which something else originates, develops, or takes form” – a perfect description of what the association’s new website began to offer. It included six initial areas of information: Past Advertising Award Entries, Insights Magazine, Presentations, Webinars and a searchable Sales Research site.


Under the leadership of Presidents Buddy Roogow (2012-2013) and Gary Grief (2013-2014), NASPL offered the industry’s first Game Development Conference in 2014. This effort was the first step in the Association’s research and development investment initiative.


​NASPL, the National Council on Problem Gambling and the North Carolina Education Lottery collaborated on responsible gambling during 2014. Together they created training materials for both lottery employees and retailers; the effort culminated in the release of specialized training videos which would be shared among the membership.


​The Wyoming Lottery (2014) officially launched and joined NASPL. The addition of Wyoming increased the membership total to 52 lotteries.


​In 2015 under the direction of Texas Lottery Commission Executive Director Gary Grief (NASPL President 2014-2015), NASPL began XML work with IGT and 7-Eleven. The goal was to use NASPL’s XML Retailer Technical Standard in an effort to standardize how sales data was offered and reconciled. Texas, 7-Eleven, IGT and NASPL all worked to create an XML file that offered two separate files for accounting and inventory data. The successful result enabled Scientific Games and the Maryland Lottery to also complete the effort. The pilot effort enabled lotteries, vendors and big box retailers to offer and receive the same formatted data in multiple jurisdictions.


​Under the leadership Missouri Lottery Executive Director May Scheve Reardon (NASPL President 2015-2016), Louisiana Lottery President and CEO Rose Hudson (NASPL President 2016-2017) and NASPL Retail Relations Chair Terry Presta (Kansas Lottery Executive Director), the Application Programming Interface (API) and Cashless Payment initiatives began.


​2018 - 2024

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling striking down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), opening the door for states to allow sports wagering. Delaware is the first U.S. state to add full-scale sports betting after the ruling, with the Delaware Lottery as the provider. 


​In 2019, the Mississippi Lottery Corporation launched, brining NASPL’s membership to 53 lotteries. There are now only five U.S. states without a lottery - Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah. 


​During the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, lotteries continued operations with modified processes to keep their games going. NASPL pivoted to digital educational and networking opportunities for members, including the new web series Insights Direct. For the first time ever, NASPL’s annual meetings and conferences, and even a trade show, were held in an all-virtual format. 

In 2024, as part of a comprehensive brand refresh, NASPL introduced a new mission statement in its ongoing efforts to serve the lottery industry in the best way possible: To advocate for state and provincial lottery organizations on matters of general lottery policy and leverage collaboration, communication, education and information for the betterment of the industry. Also included were a new logo, a modern website and a new online platform for the Association’s “Insights” publications.

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