HARRISBURG -- A decision on whether Pennsylvania should hire a private manager for its lottery system has been pushed back for at least 10 days, though a Republican state senator says a second extension is expected.
State officials have until Jan. 10 to consider a proposal from Camelot Global Services PA LLC for operating the lottery. That bid was set to expire at midnight, but Gov. Tom Corbett's administration and the Britain-based company agreed to a later deadline.
A statement from the state Department of Revenue, which oversees the state lottery, said the extension would allow unionized lottery employees to present their counter-proposal by Jan. 8, and for an outside firm to complete its background report on Camelot.
The new deadline for deciding whether to hire a private management company is four days before a scheduled Senate Finance Committee hearing, which would be the first public hearing on the proposal since the Camelot bid was announced.
Opponents have raised questions about the lottery procurement process, which has been closely guarded since talks began in April.
Sen. Mike Brubaker, R-Lancaster and chair of the Senate Finance Committee, said in a news release that he was pleased to learn of the deadline extension and noted that a second extension "is anticipated." Revenue spokeswoman Elizabeth Brassell also said an additional deadline extension is possible.
"While I do support the privatization of governmental services when feasible, each decision to do so should only occur after an open and thoughtful process which is completely aired in public," Mr. Brubaker said.
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.
In a statement after the extension was announced, Camelot officials said they are confident in their proposal and "stand by our commitment to make major investments in the lottery -- in its brand, in its operations and in its people."
Harrisburg bureau chief Laura Olson: firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-717-787-4254.