Some GOP senators question keno, online gambling in privatized lottery

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HARRISBURG -- Several state Senate Republicans have sent a letter to Gov. Tom Corbett stating that allowing the lottery to add keno and online gambling could hurt state casinos, and that the pending management contract should be revised.

The five lawmakers, including President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati and Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, write in their Jan. 16 letter that plans from Camelot Global Services PA LLC, which has been selected to take over state lottery operations, to add monitor-based games "have raised serious concerns."

"Not only is this a broader expansion of gambling than has been described, but these games will directly compete against our highly regulated casinos," they wrote.

The senators say they are looking into legislation "to clarify that these types of games will be prohibited in the future."

Also signed on the letter are Sens. Kim Ward of Hempfield, Tommy Tomlinson of Bucks County, and Pat Browne of Lehigh County.

Camelot, which operates the United Kingdom lottery, has pledged to bring in more than $34 billion in profits over the course of a 20-year management contract, in part through introducing online ticket sales and keno.

The Corbett administration has said they believe they have legal authority to offer such new games under the current lottery law.

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Harrisburg bureau chief Laura Olson: lolson@post-gazette.com or 717-787-4254.


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