Cullerton: Private lottery manager is ‘experiment’ (AP) March 18, 2013 at 6:38 pm SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois Senate President John Cullerton says hiring a private company to operate the state’s lottery was an experiment that needs to be improved. State officials say the manager, Northstar Lottery Group, should pay a $20 million penalty for falling short of the profits it promised in fiscal year 2012. Northstar was supposed to generate $823 million in net income for the state under a management agreement. But Illinois officials estimate it generated $757 million. Cullerton pushed to privatize the lottery, and Northstar took over in 2011. Cullerton says he still supports the private manager, but says the process “has been full of challenges.” He also praised state lottery officials for demanding that Northstar deliver on its promises. Northstar officials say they want to see a state audit of the lottery. Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.