We know lotteries: And if Pennsylvania invites us in, we will invest in Pennsylvania

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I am proud to work for Camelot Global Services, one of the world's leading lottery operators, but little is known about us in Pennsylvania. For that reason, misconceptions about our proposal to operate the Pennsylvania Lottery have formed based on occurrences in other states, leading to concerns that are understandable although inaccurate.

Camelot was recognized by the World Lottery Association in September as the most responsible lottery company in the world. We have earned this distinction through hard work and by delivering on our promises.

For 18 years we have operated the United Kingdom Lottery, serving around 51 million people. Our mission is to deliver a popular lottery that raises as much money as possible for what the United Kingdom calls "good causes." It is similar to how lottery proceeds in Pennsylvania are used for programs to help seniors.

In key ways, Camelot's approach to running lotteries differs from what you see in most U.S. state lotteries. In the United States, a few demographic groups, including those with lower incomes, tend to play a lot, and most groups hardly play at all. By definition, that's a regressive approach that no one would call good public policy.

Camelot's approach is the opposite -- in the United Kingdom, most adults play the lottery, but only in a modest way. Over 70 percent of adults play the lottery but typically spend the equivalent of only a few dollars every week.

This philosophy has enabled Camelot, to date, to return more than $60 billion to good causes, including $3.3 billion for the 2012 Olympics in London. Our contract has been renewed three times by the United Kingdom and, under our current extension to 2023, we have committed to producing $2.7 billion in new lottery funding. Camelot also conceived and is a founding member of EuroMillions, the world's largest multinational draw-based game, which is played in nine countries.

Camelot does have experience in the United States. Our company has produced tremendous results for the California Lottery since 2009. With Camelot providing expertise in business planning, as well as sales and marketing support, the California Lottery now expects to generate an additional $2.25 billion in incremental sales, raising $780 million in new funds for education over the next three years.

We see similar potential in Pennsylvania and believe our approach can deliver the same level of success. While the Pennsylvania Lottery is well-operated and has an established core player base, we believe there is potential for growth. Camelot intends to duplicate in Pennsylvania the success we have enjoyed elsewhere, guaranteeing $34 billion in profits over the next 20 years to benefit programs for Pennsylvania seniors.

In making our bid to operate the Pennsylvania Lottery, Camelot has made a number of commitments. We will make major investments in the lottery -- in its brand, in its operations and in its people.

We intend to retain as many current lottery employees as possible who want to join Camelot in achieving long-term revenue growth for the lottery and increased funding for senior services. Over time, we expect the overall head-count to increase as we make investments.

At the heart of any successful organization is its people. Our success in the United Kingdom comes from our commitment to innovation, excellence, teamwork, integrity and responsibility. These are our values. They will be our values in Pennsylvania, and that begins with valuing the people who work so hard to make the Pennsylvania Lottery a success.

We are confident that we can deliver on our promises, so at Gov. Tom Corbett's insistence, we are putting our money where our proverbial mouth is. If Camelot doesn't deliver, the risk is on us and only us. Funding to seniors is a commitment, whether it comes from lottery proceeds or from our own pockets. Camelot will only make a profit if we exceed our financial commitments.

Our commitments are not just about money, though. We plan to incorporate and locate all of our Pennsylvania Lottery operations in the commonwealth. With offices here, we will pay all relevant taxes, making our investment in Pennsylvania total.

Everything in Camelot's track record suggests we would be a responsible steward for the Pennsylvania Lottery. We want to win the trust of the citizens of Pennsylvania, and we appreciate the faith the commonwealth has shown in us so far.

Camelot intends to work hard every day to earn that trust and faith should we be selected.

opinion_commentary

Alex Kovach is managing director of Camelot Global Services.


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