A Very Informative Email...

Do state agencies not have to adhere to consumer laws?
No, they don't.
Nor do they have to adhere to
advertising laws either. It turns out that they can get
away with just about everything. And the Texas
Lottery is a "state agency."

Many thanks for taking your time to send us such an
informative email. I will certainly review these
sites & I'm sure my visitors will greatly
appreciate knowing the law
is suppose to protect us.

Brought To You By
The Lotto Report
A Bi-Weekly Publication Since 1993

Email Me - (The Lotto Report)

The Email
(If you don't understand what this is all about,
my explanation is at the bottom of the page)

To: lottoreport@lottoreport.com
Subject: The Last Straw

Sept. 9, 2000

Good afternoon:

I haven't sent you a correspondence in some time, but continue to watch your' reporting with great interest. I have several items to note:

(a) The public display against the recent actions of the TLC regarding Lotto Texas and dissemination of information. I would love to be there, and will try to stay out of trouble.

(b) Your' new member's section: Please explain it's function, and how to join.

(c) The item that prompts this letter: I've watched the TLC "punish" you for your' reporting to the concerned citizens of information we don't have ready access to, by coming up with reasons to suspend your 'privilege' to this information also. At best, this is unethical, as all government actions I have ever witnessed that pertain to a business are proceeded by either a "grand father" clause, a grace period to achieve compliance; or both. This last action, whereby they suspended your' access to pretest data {which is generated solely to prove an unbiased and properly functioning game}, because you pointed out a mistake on their part --- is unconscionable. Clearly, they are out to prove they have 'broad powers' as described under the Lottery Enabling Act, and are to be questioned by no one. I refer you and all other concerned citizens to two web sites of interest:

Texas Open Government Act
Attorney General of Texas,
open government section
(Currently having problems with this link -
will find out what is wrong and correct it)

Please take time to thoroughly view the site. The following is found as a question & answer item: Question - "May a governmental body ask me why I want the records?" Answer - "No a governmental body is forbidden from inquiring about the purpose for which the records will be used".

My interpretation: The TLC may grant privileges to organizations beyond the true limits of the Open Records Act, and you have received these privileges; but denying them on the basis of whether you are critical of their mistakes is illegal under the Open Government Act. This site is very good: you can even list all open records rulings that contain 'Texas Lottery', 'Linda Cloud', etc.

Deceptive Trade Practices -
Consumer Protection Act
Texas Bar Association

Again, a very good site. The following two excerpts will be enough to cause many people to visit:

"prohibits acts that cause confusion regarding the sponsorship, approval, or certification of goods or services: It prohibits people from representing a product has the approval of an organization that has not really approved it" "Unless the section involved requires otherwise, the consumer is not required to prove that the defendant 'intentionally' or 'knowingly' violated the DTPA.

My comments: I chose this as known violations exist regarding public and retailer support for the 6/54 ball change {in more ways than I care to document here, but easily proven in the TLC's own meeting minutes}. It also allows punitive damages for violation.

SUMMARY: Shoot straight, ride well, and speak the truth. The TLC wants citizens to happily hand over our dollars, in the belief that ball 52 shows up for work wearing a headband. The customers they have that show interest in their product, and WOULD contribute if treated as if we were intelligent, turn to you Dawn Nettles for honest reporting of the mechanics of the games. Also, they are openly tampering with your' business - rest assured that if you had said anything slanderous {damaging but NOT true}, their lawyers would be on your' doorstep in 48 hours. Stop letting these people hide behind the Lottery Enabling Act as if it were the only law in Texas - call the press, the legislature, the Attorney General - drag them down to the Capital Building and spank their middle aged butts!

My Explanation About the "Groups & Organizations"

For those of you who may not understand what this is all about, the TLC listed approx. 3000 names at the Texas Registry of "groups and organizations" who they claimed were in favor of these changes. They also listed approx. 450 "groups and organizations" who were opposed to the changes.

The 3000 names were taken mostly from surveys that were given to them from the Texas Food Industry and GTech. Of the 4627 surveys in question, only 1764 are verifiable. That means one could find the person or store that signed it. Which I have done for many of them.

What I found was they were signed by store clerks and even a few store managers. The people I spoke with basically told me one or several of these things: (1) they signed the survey as a favor to their GTech rep (2) they are not authorized to speak on behalf of their company (3) they do not represent any "group or organization" (4) some thought by signing it, it would help players win bigger lower tier prizes (5) they thought by signing it, it would increase their sales because this had been done successfully elsewhere - they were never told that this plan failed in California (6) and most admitted they never read it - it was simply explained to them by their GTech rep.

Of all the calls I made, I found TWO store managers who truly understood what they were signing and still wanted this change. But, both made it very clear, neither one was speaking for a "group or organization" nor were they authorized to speak for their company or their employees. Their reasons for wanting these changes, is they were convinced this would improve lotto sales. It is also interesting to note that neither of them plays Lotto Texas - but one is a loyal Pick3 player. I'm going to be mischievous and call him back and ask him if he's heard the news, that they are proposing to add more balls to Pick3 and see what he says. That should be interesting. I'll bet he gets mad!

I believe the TLC definitely misrepresented what they had. It's also interesting to note that in Sept. 1999, when they made the 1st proposal to add 4 balls, that they sent out a letter to all their retailers asking for support but apparently never received any because they cancelled the plan in Oct. 1999 (The truth is, I have all the comments they received and I only saw a few in favor.) Yet, in a short 6 months, they got 4627 comments: 3988 agreed, 609 opposed, 15 blank and 15 had both agreed and disagreed boxes checked! How's that for a miracle?

Comments? Email Us

The Lotto Report
P. O. Box 495033
Garland, Texas 75049-5033
(972) 686-0660
(972) 681-1048 (Fax)