Pennsylvania will hire British firm to run the lottery system

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HARRISBURG -- Gov. Tom Corbett's administration told employees this afternoon that officials have decided to hire to a British firm to manage the Pennsylvania Lottery.

A proposal from Britain-based Camelot Global Services PA LLC to operate the state lottery was set to expire at midnight tonight, after two extensions.

According to an email sent to state lottery workers from Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser, the contract with Camelot is expected to be reviewed and signed next week. The move does not require approval by the Legislature.

Camelot submitted the sole bid for a 20- to 30-year contract to run the state's lottery. The company has promised to boost profits by adding games like keno, expanding the number of retailers and broadening the demographics of those purchasing lottery tickets.

A state Senate panel has scheduled a hearing on the proposal for Monday, with officials from Camelot and the union representing many of the lottery employees scheduled to testify.

AFSCME Council 13, which represents about 170 of the 230 state lottery workers, offered a counter proposal to the Camelot plan earlier this week.

The labor group, which also filed suit seeking to prevent a management contract from being executed, has argued that the firm's proposal would provide less funding for seniors programs and too little security against missing its profit margins.

"Obviously we're disappointed," said AFSCME executive director David Fillman shortly after employees were notified. "We still have a lot of unanswered questions and a lot of uncertainty. This is not a good deal for the employees but also for the taxpayers and for the state's senior programs."

Lottery proceeds fund programs for older Pennsylvanians, such as property-tax rebates and discounts on prescription drugs. Mr. Corbett and other administration officials point to the state's growing senior population as a key reason to boost revenues.

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Harrisburg Bureau Chief Laura Olson: or 717-787-4254.


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