Union leaders to meet with state over lottery privatization

Written by Craig Layne and Radio Pennsylvania | Nov 28, 2012 4:00 AM
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(Harrisburg) -- Leaders of the union representing a majority of Pennsylvania Lottery employees are questioning state efforts to privatize the program.

A British company is the only bidder for the lottery, which funds efforts like property tax rebates and low-cost prescription drugs for seniors.

Department of Revenue spokeswoman Elizabeth Brassell says privatization provides more secure and predictable funding as the elderly population grows.

"That population growth will demand additional dollars from the lottery fund, so we're just looking for another way of increasing those revenues long-term," Brassell says.

The bidder has promised 34 billion dollars in revenue over 20 years.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees represents 175 of the roughly 220 lottery employees.

Council 13 Executive Director David Fillman questions the need for privatization when the lottery had a record $3.2 billion dollars in ticket sales last year.

"What the employees, all of them from the union to the top management, have done is a great job," Fillman says. "There's only 2.3 percent administrative costs, so it's not only profitable, but it's also efficient."

The lone bidder is Camelot Global Services.

It's the same company that runs the national lottery in the United Kingdom.

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