The TLC Lied To Me
The Texas Lottery said they didn't have a document ...
but they sent the very document I had requested out
the day before they wrote and told me they didn't have
it to send to me. Read the story ... this is
clearly an open records violation.
A Bi-Weekly Publication
Comments - E-mail Us - Click here
Comments for the TLC, Newspapers, Politicians? Click here.
Originally Posted: Feb. 21, 2002
On Wednesday morning, February 20, 2002, I noticed the TLC had posted two
new scratch games that were due to begin on March 6, 2002. What got my attention
was the fact that I had no information on these games yet I make Open Records requests
every other week for any and all new games that are due to begin within the next 60 days.
So I immediately called the TLC to obtain the "prize structure" for the new games that
were posted. The "prize structure" shows the number of tickets printed and
the number of prizes printed for the game.
I spoke with Laurie in Customer Service. After placing me on hold,
Laurie finally informed me that she could not release any information until the
game began. She referred me to Open Records. Now start getting this picture ...
the game is on their web site, but they can't tell players about it.
When I was put through to Open Records, no one was available. I did leave
a message for a return call. But my gut feeling was that the TLC was going to give
me the run-around again, so rather than to go through the hassles and lose time, I
called my state rep and asked him to obtain this data for me.
In the meantime, Diane Morris from Open Records returned my call at 12:30 pm -
this is before I heard back from my state rep. I explained to Diane that I had
not received the prize structure for four (4) upcoming games from my previous
requests and I knew the TLC had the information. She requested that I put the
game numbers in writing for her so she could investigate. I did so "reluctantly" as
I felt this was a way of a 10 day stall on the part of the TLC
and as you will see, I was right.
Either way, my message that Diane Morris requested is as follows:
My Message To The TLC - Sent 2-20-02 - 1:38 PM
I have not received sell in sheets or prize structures for the following games: #278, 283, 709, 710. Two of these games are listed in inventory while the other two games are due to begin on March 6. As I explained earlier, it's difficult for me to believe that the TLC has no information on the games.
Also, I have not received sell in sheets for these games either - they should have been included in my ritual past open records request: 708, 279, 282, 713, 714, 706, 250, 286.
After e-mailing this message to Open Records at 1:38 pm, I received all
the prize structures for the games at 3:08 pm from my state rep's office. They
explained to me that they did not call the TLC until mid afternoon and the TLC sent them
the game information immediately. I was then able to produce the report I was publishing.
Now understand, I was already mad because the documents were not furnished
to me previously and I got madder when the TLC would not release any
information by phone - especially on new games that are posted on their web site,
but my mad became spittin' mad this morning when I received the following
response from Open Records. It read (my comments are in blue italics):
The TLC Responds To My Message - Received 2-21-02 10 AM
Attached are the prize structures for games #706 and #286 and the trends report. (I did not request prize structure for games #706 and #286 - I already had them. I clearly requested prize structures for games #278, 283, 709, 710.)
Please note that the trends report contains the instant ticket summary that you have also requested. (It does not cover all games and I requested information for all games. Does the TLC not know how many tickets are unsold for the games not listed in the Trends Report?)
I will also be sending the sell in sheets for games #282 and #286 via fax. (Thank you. But why didn't I already have them?)
In July of 2000, the TLC took it upon themselves to declare that
I was no longer considered a "news organization" and suspended my media
privileges even though I publish a bi-weekly lottery publication and have a web
site that is 100% Texas lottery news. They said I had to start going through
Open Records which meant the TLC had 10 days to respond legally and
all my requests would have to be in writing in the future. They did this to me
because I opposed the addition of 4 balls to Lotto Texas, I reported the fact
that the drawing studio had no camera's and visitors could not distinguish the
numbers drawn and finally because I released a press release about the retailers.
Prior to July of 2000, I was treated like all other media and would receive any
and all information I needed for publishing immediately. I have requested 3 times
that this issue be brought up with the Commissioners but it's never been addressed
by the TLC. This "news organization" classification was left pending in Dec. 2000.
This is not the first, the second, the third or even the 10th time the TLC
has not provided requested documents to me as required by law - but I'll bet
this will be the last time because I intend to notify the proper authorities once and
for all. This incident is the straw that broke the camels back.