Management agreement for lottery set to expire

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HARRISBURG -- Senate Republicans will not move forward this year with legislation intended to clear the way for private management of the Pennsylvania Lottery, their caucus leader said Tuesday.

A 20-year management agreement with Camelot Global Services, which operates the United Kingdom's lottery, has been stalled since February, when Attorney General Kathleen Kane said her staff had concluded the deal would violate state law.

After the head of the union representing rank-and-file lottery workers and a spokesman for Gov. Tom Corbett said last week that they had agreed -- in concept -- on a plan to retain the unionized employees, Senate Republicans said they were preparing legislation intended to address the attorney general's objections.

But Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware, said Tuesday that there will be no vote this week, the last time the Senate meets before the new year. After numerous extensions, the bid by Camelot expires at the end of the year.

"There's simply not enough time," Mr. Pileggi said.

The Senate will likely hold a public hearing on the topic in January, said Erik Arneson, a spokesman for Mr. Pileggi.

Camelot had committed to bringing in more than $34 billion in profits over the life of the contract, in part by introducing online ticket sales and keno. Among the attorney general's conclusions were that state law does not permit the development of monitor-based and other electronic games.

Proceeds from the lottery are used for programs to help seniors, such as property-tax rebates and discounts on prescription drugs.

The administration will decide in the coming weeks what to do about the approaching deadline, said Jay Pagni, press secretary for Mr. Corbett.

"There is interest, a recognition, of the need to provide an adequate revenue stream for programs for older Pennsylvanians, to meet the growing demand that we'll see in the next several years," he said. "We've had positive discussions with the Legislature, and those discussions continue."

Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, D-Forest Hills, said Monday that Senate Democrats believe the proposed changes require the state to accept new bids for the contract.

Karen Langley: or 1-717-787-2141. On Twitter @karen_langley.

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