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Questions about the Florida Lottery? Call Texas!

by Dara Kam | February 10th, 2010

With more than 1 million Floridians out of work, Florida taxpayers are footing the bill for the salaries for out-of-state workers.

This time, it’s Florida Lottery vendor GTECH’s workers in Texas that are the beneficiaries. GTECH’s call center is located in Austin and that’s where calls regarding the Lottery’s on-line tickets and other products are answered.

And lawmakers don’t even know how many jobs are at stake in Texas because the private contractors hired by the state to handle call lines won’t give up their number of employees or where they’re located, according to legislative analyst Emily Leventhal.

Sen. Ted Deutch, a Boca Raton Democrat who sits on the committee, asked Leventhal how many of the 16 private call centers were located outside Florida.

Only GTECH’s, she told him.

“And do you know how many people the state of Florida is paying to work in Austin, Texas?” Deutch asked.

“I do not,” Leventhal replied.

“I think that would be worthwhile information for this committee,” Deutch said.

An incensed Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander agreed.

“If they take the cash or check they can tell us what we want to know,” said Alexander, R-Lake Wales.

Last year, the Department of Children and Families got in hot water because the agency’s food stamp contractor, JP Morgan Chase, routed questions about food stamp services to a call center based in India. The vendor stopped sending the calls overseas and instead sent them to Ohio and Illinois.

The head of the state’s tourism agency also earned the wrath of lawmakers last year when lawmakers found out that calls to Visit Florida were being answered in Missouri. The agency later canceled the contract.

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9 Responses to “Questions about the Florida Lottery? Call Texas!”

  1. Jenny Says:

    I lost my job at GTECH’s Boca Raton office due to their move to Texas. However we were lead to believe that
    Florida’s overpriced real estate was
    the reason. So before we get our pants in bunch about jobs moving
    perhaps we should take a look at what caused the move.

  2. Jenny Says:

    Its so bad that my current job is going to Texas another large corporation.

  3. PBPatty Says:

    OK, now that we’re on the topic of Florida Lottery, where is all that money going to??? definately not for education like it was initially marketed to be for!!! taxpayers need the truth!!!!

  4. PBPatty Says:

    when a taxpayer wins lottery money, how much does he take home after taxes?? taxes for what?? where is half the money going to?????

  5. Tony T. Says:

    If over-priced real estate was really the reason then I guess they should all be packing their bags right about now and moving back to Florida. No State, County or City jobs should ever be awarded to out-of-state contractors or employers. Taxpayer money should only enrich Florida residents not those in Texas, Missouri or anywhere else.

  6. whasup Says:

    The lottery money goes into that great sink hole we call the public education system where it pays for lots of things and people who do not teach anyone.

  7. East Texas Fishing Says:

    You have a great blog. Looks like you have put in a lot of work on it. Here is one of my favorite fishing websites.Fishing East Texas

  8. Dan Harris Says:

    Those aren’t the only jobs not in Florida but also not in America. Much of the software is done from India. Isn’t there a security concern here with our sensitive data and information easily accessed outside of the country?

  9. Bradley Emden Says:

    I have been a state university faculty member for quite some time, and although I am highly regarded in my field, the University System in florida pays faculty among the lowest in the country. Recent high tuition increases, were not seen at all by Faculty as we have not had raises in several years. The money is definitely not finding its way to Professors. I have other reasons for being in Florida, but if it were simply a matter of Faculty Salaries, I would most likely be in another state, where such salaries are considerably higher.

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