Lottery Director Buddy Roogow Dies

Buddy Roogow, former director of the Maryland Lottery and D.C. Lottery, died suddenly in Washington, D.C. at age 65. Appointed Maryland Lottery Director in 1996 by former Governor Parris N. Glendenning, Roogow led the lottery for 12 years, also managing casinos' entry into the state. He took over the D.C. Lottery in 2009.

Longtime Maryland Lottery Director Buddy Roogow died suddenly in Washington, D.C. of an aneurysm at age 65.

Roogow grew up in Allentown, Pennsylvania and Baltimore. He graduated from Baltimore City College in 1967 and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Maryland in the early 1970s. He began his professional life as an urban planning consultant for a private firm. He was the county administrative officer in Howard County from 1988-1991, then served as deputy chief of staff for Democratic former Maryland Governors William Donald Schaefer and Parris N. Glendenning, who appointed Mr. Roogow director of the Maryland Lottery in 1996.

Roogow led the Maryland Lottery for 12 consecutive years of record-breaking sales. Glendenning said, “Other states have had major problems in their lottery commissions, and Maryland has not. Buddy had a significant role in that.” Roogow also oversaw the entry of casinos into Maryland before leaving to head the D.C. Lottery in 2009. In a 2008 Baltimore Sun article, Roogow said in regard to distributing lottery prizes, “I do get a little envious at times. But we all have a certain role to play, and mine is to give away money.”

Tracey Cohen, D.C. Lottery’s chief operating officer, said Roogow’s integrity made him a leader in the lottery industry. “He really believed in what he did,” Cohen said, noting Roogow carried lottery tickets to give away. In 2012 he was named president of the North American Association of State & Provincial Lotteries. He was planning to give the opening talk at a conference on lotteries in Washington next month.

Former Republican Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. said Roogow was a nonpartisan public servant and an “enthusiastic salesman” for the lottery. “I’m really shocked. It’s a sad day in Maryland. He leaves a terrific legacy,” Ehrlich said.