AUGUSTA — A state panel met for the first time Monday to hear an appeal by a Gardiner-based company that lost a bid to continue operating parts of the state’s lottery.

The six-year contract to provide instant lottery tickets and online lottery services is worth about $35 million.

Scientific Games hopes to prove that Maine’s Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations did not follow state law or its own request for proposals when it awarded the contract to Intralot, a company based in Athens, Greece.

The bureau issued a request for proposals for the lottery gaming system on Jan. 11. Scientific Games, GTECH Corp. and Intralot submitted bids. The contract is for six years, with the possibility of four extensions of four years apiece, based on performance.

Intralot plans to move about 20 jobs to its data operations center in Vermont unless Scientific Games wins its appeal.

Rules on file with the state Division of Purchases say a three-member appeal panel can invalidate the contract award if Scientific Games can prove that something illegal or irregular occurred in the bidding process, or that the award was arbitrary or capricious.

Charles Dingman of Preti Flaherty, the attorney representing Scientific Games in the appeal, said there were flaws in the scoring mechanism used in awarding the contract, and in Intralot’s proposal.

He said the lottery is a mechanism for a steady stream of revenue to fund programs, and it’s the bureau’s job to get the “best value” for Maine.

“I believe, in this instance, the process was not fair and did not end up with the best value for the state,” Dingman said.

Dingman said the state would benefit more if the facility and staff were based in Maine, because that would generate more economic activity for the state.

Bidders’ location in Maine was one factor in the scoring mechanism used to award the contract.

Dingman asked that the panel declare Intralot’s contract invalid and begin a new round of bidding.

An Ohio-based attorney for Intralot, Jeffrey Lipps, said the decision to award Intralot the contract came after a lengthy deliberation process by qualified professionals.

“The process was deliberated impartially, and, in the end, Intralot won that race fair and square,” Lipps said.

He said there were no scoring irregularities, and Intralot is committed to Maine staffing.

Lipps said the number of employees will be consistent with the number of people Scientific Games now employs in Kennebec County — about 20. He also said Intralot’s bid will save Maine taxpayers $300,000 a year.

Scientific Games’ attorneys turned to Intralot’s dealings in other states Monday as they sought to cast doubt on the company’s ability to run part of Maine’s lottery.

They tried to introduced material alleging that Intralot had legal and management problems in other countries where it does business.

Lipps dismissed the information as hearsay.

The hearing will continue today.