Winner of 10-year contract to operate the lottery to be announced by Sept. 15

Two companies have been named as finalists for an unprecedented private contract to manage Illinois’ state lottery.

They are Northstar Lottery Group - a partnership between lottery giants GTECH and Scientific Games - and Camelot Illinois, a subsidiary of Canadian company Camelot Group, which runs Great Britain’s National Lottery.

When the contract is awarded, Illinois will be the first state to entirely privatize the management and marketing of its lottery, a move mandated by legislation as a way to help boost revenue and attract new players. The state will retain ownership and regulatory oversight.

The Illinois Lottery has annual sales of more than $2 billion, and revenues help fund education and capital projects.

A public hearing was scheduled for next Wednesday to examine the merits of the two proposals. Gov. Pat Quinn is slated to choose the winner of the 10-year contract by September 15.

Northstar already has a presence in Illinois through its partners. Rhode Island-based GTECH, a subsidiary of Italy’s Lottomatica Group and one of the world’s largest lottery companies, manages the state’s lottery terminals. New York-based Scientific Games provides the lottery’s instant tickets.

Camelot Group, owned by the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund, has a consulting contract for the California Lottery.