State lottery, Viejas Tribe in joint deal

After years in which each side saw the other as a competitor, the California Lottery will announced a first-of-its-kind promotional deal with a major casino gaming tribe.

Lottery officials are joining representatives of the Viejas Tribe at the tribe’s casino on Monday to announce the cross-promotional deal.

“There’s been an understandable stand-off between the Lottery and gaming tribes in California,” said Robert Scheid, public relations director for the Viejas Casino.  “This is the first real attempt to overcome that and see how we can create a win-win situation.”

Under the terms of the deal, the Lottery and the tribe will create several new lottery-type games that will promoted through the casino. This will include products sold directly via the tribe, which has promised 22,000 winners during February.

The deal will also include promotional vouchers that can be redeemed at the casino for a free $1 scratch-off ticket, as well as a “second-chance” option for players who spend at least $5 at a time at any of 1,600 lottery outlets around the state. 

For now, the deal is only a one-month trial, said Lottery spokesman Bill Ainsworth, but could be renewed if both sides like the results.

“With the lottery, we keep having to come up with fresh and innovative ideas for our players to keep the motivated.

California voters approved the state lottery back in 1984 with Proposition 37. The first tickets went on sale the next year, at a time when gaming options were limited and few people have even heard of tribal casinos.

Ainsworth said the Lottery is open to working with other California gaming tribes.

“I bet they’re going to be closely watching to see if it’s something they might be interested in,” he said.

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