Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
The Corbett administration will not appeal the state attorney general’s decision to reject its contract handing over the management of the Pennsylvania Lottery to a private company, but will resubmit a new contract for review.
The news came in a 5:30 p.m. press release Friday, in which the administration also announced British firm Camelot Global Services, the sole company to bid on the contract, would remain as such: its bid has been extended through June 30, which also happens to be the state’s deadline for finalizing a budget.
In February, Attorney General Kathleen Kane rejected the contract to privatize the state lottery, saying the contract failed a standard legality review because it violated both state law and the state constitution. She said the Corbett administration had overstepped its authority in attempting to privatize the lottery and would require legislative approval to expand gaming. The 20- to 30-year contract with Camelot would have expanded gambling to include keno drawings and, eventually, online games. Lawmakers had voiced opposition to such an expansion and asked the governor to change the contract to ensure the lottery would not compete with casinos.
According to the release, the Department of Revenue, which oversees the lottery, will submit a new contract to Kane’s office.
Here’s the full release:
Governor Corbett Will Revise Lottery Contract to Address Attorney General’s Concerns
Harrisburg – Governor Tom Corbett has determined that revising the Lottery vendor contract with Camelot Global Services in order to provide clarification to the Attorney General is the appropriate next step in furthering the goal of growing and securing predictable Lottery funding for senior programs for decades to come.
The contract with Camelot is a vendor contract, under which the company will provide management and marketing services. The Lottery will continue to be owned and operated by the state.
“This is about providing for and protecting seniors,” Corbett said. “Our goal is to make sure that our dramatically growing senior population will continue to have access to crucial programs and services in the years to come.”
Camelot has committed $3 billion to $4.5 billion of new funding for senior programs over 20 years, and if the profits fell short of that commitment Camelot would reimburse the state for the shortfall, up to 5 percent of profits. Currently, the Lottery has no such protection.
It is anticipated that the Department of Revenue will submit a revised contract in the upcoming months to the Office of Attorney General. The contract will be available online when it is finalized.
“We believe that predictable and growing funding for senior programs is a vital concern for all Pennsylvanians, and we will work to provide more clarity to the Attorney General in order to assist her review of the revised contract.”
Camelot’s bid has been extended through June 30.
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