Florida Politics

Why is Florida’s lottery secretary leaving? Kentucky has his number.

Florida Lottery Secretary Tom Delacenserie, left, is resigning June 2 to take a job as the new president and CEO of the Kentucky Lottery Corp.
Florida Lottery Secretary Tom Delacenserie, left, is resigning June 2 to take a job as the new president and CEO of the Kentucky Lottery Corp. AP

The reason Florida’s lottery secretary will leave his post next week after 17 years with the agency became clear Tuesday: Tom Delacenserie accepted a higher-paying position as the new head of Kentucky’s state lottery.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s office announced Delacenserie’s forthcoming departure last Friday, with no details on why Delacenserie was resigning effective June 2.

MORE: Read Delacenserie’s resignation letter.

On Tuesday, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin publicly appointed Delacenserie as the new president and CEO of the Kentucky Lottery Corp. Delacenserie will begin his new job June 5.

“We’re so excited to have secured such a proven leader and successful CEO for the lottery,” Kentucky Lottery Corp. board chairman Mark Sommer said in a statement. “We look forward to him leading the lottery past the $1 billion sales mark and well beyond.”

“I’m very much looking forward to joining one of the premier lotteries in the country,” Delacenserie added. “My dedication will be to continuing the Kentucky Lottery’s emphasis on increasing both sales and proceeds to the Commonwealth.”

Delacenserie was in Kentucky on Tuesday for the announcement of his appointment. He said during that press conference that one of the aspects of the job that attracted him was that “students in Kentucky depend on the Kentucky Lottery to go to college.”

“I will do everything in my power to ensure that we continue that,” he said.

Delacenserie will get a pay increase by moving to Kentucky. His new salary there will be $204,000, the corporation told the Herald/Times. As Florida Lottery secretary, Delacenserie makes $141,000 in annual salary.

Delacenserie, 68, is a Wisconsin native. He said he used to travel to Louisville during his pre-lottery years working in sales and consumer products. “I always liked the city; I always liked the people,” he said.

In a two-paragraph resignation letter to Scott dated Friday, Delacenserie made no mention of his new position. He wrote to Scott that he has “enjoyed all of my 17 years with the Florida Lottery but none more than the time spent under your leadership as Governor.”

“I will always appreciate both your support and the opportunity you gave me appointing me Secretary, something I will always consider both an honor and a privilege,” he added.

Scott appointed Delacenserie to head the Florida Lottery in November 2015. Before then, Delacenserie had for two years been the deputy secretary of sales and marketing. He began working for the Florida Lottery in 2000.

Scott has not yet named Delacenserie’s replacement.

Kristen M. Clark: 850-222-3095, kclark@miamiherald.com, @ByKristenMClark

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