Corbett says he's confident of extension to lottery bid

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The Corbett administration says it is confident it will execute a short-term extension of the bid by a British company to manage the Pennsylvania lottery before its expiration Saturday.

Administration officials have been in talks with Camelot Global Services after Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced Thursday her office had determined a 20-year management contract with the company, which manages the United Kingdom's lottery, violates state law.

Gov. Tom Corbett has said he disagrees with the finding and is considering how to proceed. The determination by the attorney general can be appealed to the Commonwealth Court.

"We're confident we'll be able to execute a short-term bid extension to preserve the validity of the bid," said Elizabeth Brassell, spokeswoman for the Department of Revenue. "If the bid expires tomorrow, then the procurement is over. The extension would preserve the validity of their bid and allow some time for the commonwealth and for Camelot to assess the situation and determine what next steps would be appropriate."

The length of an extension is being negotiated, she said, but is "definitely looking to be days, rather than weeks."

A spokesman for Camelot declined to comment on the possibility of extending the bid.

Proceeds from the lottery are used to benefit seniors through programs including property-tax rebates and discounts on prescription drugs. Mr. Corbett has argued the agreement with Camelot would ensure a larger and more reliable stream of funding for a growing population of seniors. His budget proposal for the coming year relies on the deal to provide an additional $50 million for programs for seniors.

Camelot pledged to bring in $34 billion in profits over the life of the contract, in part by introducing online ticket sales and keno.

Ms. Kane said her office found the agreement infringes on the power of the Legislature and includes too broad a provision for Camelot to make claims against the state. It also found that state law does not authorize the development of monitor-based and other electronic games, such as keno.

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Karen Langley: klangley@post-gazette.com or 717-787-2141.


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