"We've been totally uninvolved," says Bertie Johnson, a spokeswoman for the Kansas lottery. "We're just watching to see what happens."
A more likely reason for choosing Decker: He has lots of experience working with GTECH in Kansas and, prior to that, in Missouri and Colorado.
Last July, Decker extended GTECH's seven-and-a-half-year Kansas contract an additional two years, to run through June 30, 1997. The amended contract, which was not subject to bidding, also called for GTECH to install a keno game in Kansas. The keno game has boosted Kansas lottery sales from $77 million for fiscal 1992 to $114 million for 1993.
Kansas, under Decker's direction, also has provided more lucrative returns for GTECH, allowing the company to receive up to 6.5 percent of gross sales. In Arizona, GTECH's commission is 3.1 percent of gross sales, which reached $251 million in fiscal 1992.
Mayberry's departure also came just months before the state lottery begins drafting the bidding terms to be used when GTECH's contract expires in November 1995. This process is crucial in determining how many competitors bid.
California saw just how sensitive bid guidelines can be earlier this year, when a GTECH competitor loudly protested that the bidding process was rigged in GTECH's favor. California Governor Pete Wilson conducted an informal review of the bidding and determined there were no improprieties.
When GTECH was awarded its last contract in Arizona, in 1988, it was the sole bidder. With Mayberry out of the way and Decker in his place, GTECH is in the driver's seat for another long-term contract.