British company's lottery bid extended

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HARRISBURG -- A new bid extension Friday bought the Corbett administration extra time to consider its response to the attorney general's denial of a contract for a British company to manage the Pennsylvania Lottery.

In the week since state Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced her office had found the 20-year management agreement violates state law, Gov. Tom Corbett and his officials have said they are considering how to proceed.

The administration has until March 16 to appeal the determination to the courts, and Friday the Department of Revenue announced an agreement with Camelot Global Services to extend the company's bid to March 18. The bid had been scheduled to expire at noon Friday.

"This extension allows both parties to continue considering strategic next steps in an effort to secure and maximize long-term lottery funding for seniors programs," Elizabeth Brassell, spokeswoman for the Department of Revenue, said in a statement.

A spokesman for Camelot confirmed the extension but said the company had no comment.

Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser said Tuesday the administration had returned a $50 million security payment because it did not expect to execute a private management agreement in the near future.

Camelot, which manages the United Kingdom's lottery, committed to generating $34 billion in lottery profits over 20 years, in part by introducing online ticket sales and keno. Proceeds from the lottery pay for programs for seniors such as property-tax rebates and discounts on prescription drugs. Mr. Corbett says the profit commitments would allow the state to support an increasing population of seniors.

The attorney general's office concluded that the contract infringes on the Legislature's authority to make policy and that state law governing the lottery does not allow development of games like keno.

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Karen Langley: klangley@post-gazette.com or 1-717-787-2141.


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