Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
The Pennsylvania Lottery saw record-high sales in the fiscal year ending last month. But the modest growth over the previous year's profits is part of the reason the Corbett administration's interest in privatizing the lottery is as strong as ever.
In past years, lottery revenues have jumped by as much as 10 percent in a year. The fiscal year that just ended saw growth of less than one percent in net revenue. Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser said a contract drafted to lease the lottery's operations to a British firm would yield much greater revenue growth.
"Near nine percent, guaranteed increases, year after year after year," Meuser said. The Department of Revenue oversees the lottery. What's key is the promised revenue - "whether or not there was a recession, whether or not there were economic issues," said Meuser.
Officials with the Corbett administration have said they want more consistent growth to help pay for programs benefitting senior citizens - a growing population in Pennsylvania.
The Revenue Department is still working on a plan to lease the lottery to Camelot Global Services. The company's bid has been extended repeatedly for months. The latest extension keeps the bid alive until the end of the month, though Meuser said it's "less likely" a revised private management agreement would be finalized with the Legislature out of session. A prior contract failed to gain the approval of the state attorney general.
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