Gov. Christie hasn't announced that he's privatizing the lottery. But you can bet on it: His proposed budget unveiled last month listed $125 million in revenue from handing over some functions of the lottery to the lone bidder.
The issue, which I wrote about here, hasn't generated nearly the kind of opposition that lottery privatization has in Pennsylvania. Part of the reason is that Christie simply has more power in New Jersey -- Democratic legislators are trying to move legislation requiring their sign-off, but that's likely to die on Christie's desk. In Pennsylvania, poor Gov. Corbett had to send his plan to a Democratic rival, Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who summarily declared the plan unconstitutional.
New Jersey officials note that the contractor would handle marketing and sales while a governmental Lottery Commission would still have oversight powers. Auditing, reporting and licensing of retailers would still be the under purview of the state.
But layoffs of governmental employees are also expected. So despite the uphill battle, the Communications Workers of America union that represents lottery employees is fighting Christie. Today it released this TV ad describing the private sector job losses that it expects once the deal goes through: