The D.C. Lottery Board is moving toward a shake-up of its top management in which Executive Director Douglass W. Gordon Jr. would play a diminished role by the time the board begins its daily numbers game next summer, according to board sources.
The board, according to the sources, is in the process of hiring a person they believe would have a more extensive grasp of the lottery business than Gordon and expects to announce an appointment next week. None of the current 28 full-time and temporary staff members, including Gordon, has had previous experience in running a lottery.
The new lottery official, whose title and duties are still being drafted, is expected to help the part-time lottery board grapple with increasingly complicated questions involving the city's expanding legalized gambling operations.
In the coming months, the board will be faced with deciding whether to take over the operation of its highly successful instant-ticket lottery, which is now run under a one-year contract by a private company, Games Production Inc.
In addition, the board is beginning to license charitable groups throughout the city to operate bingo games and raffles and planning for the start-up of additional D.C. lottery games like those that already have proved popular in various East Coast states, including Maryland.
The exact role that Gordon, 49, a former D.C. junior high school principal and chief of policy and planning for the Department of Human Services, would play in the lottery board reorganization is unclear.
Gordon, who now is paid $56,000 annually, said yesterday the board had not informed him of any impending changes and said that the board was awaiting completion of a management study of the lottery operations by the consulting firm of Coopers & Lybrand.
"I expect to be affiliated with the lottery," Gordon said.
Meanwhile, the board, after a dispute among its members and the prodding of Mayor Marion Barry, has decided to locate its permanent headquarters in Anacostia in an office building with addresses at 2041 and 2051 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, site of the old Curtis Brothers furniture store.
Three of the five members of the board--Chairman Brant Coopersmith and members Jerry S. Cooper and Lillian Wiggins--had tentatively decided last month to move the board's operations from its current makeshift quarters at 1420 New York Ave. NW to a nearby building on 14th Street NW.
The other two board members, Almore M. Dale and Carolyn Lewis, voiced support for locating the offices in Anacostia, where they both live, to promote the economic growth of the area, where some of the city's poorest neighborhoods are located.
Coopersmith said the board majority had feared there would not be enough security in the Anacostia building for the lottery's sensitive computers.
But at Barry's behest, Coopersmith said the board reconsidered the site and was assured that the proper security precautions would be taken. While having its headquarters in Anacostia, the board will still operate a downtown claims center to pay off on winning tickets, Coopersmith said.
"The mayor was very enthusiastic about Anacostia," Coopersmith said.