HARRISBURG -- A top budget aide to Gov. Tom Corbett identified the two companies other than Britain-based Camelot Global Services PA LLC that expressed interest in managing the state lottery during a public hearing on that proposal this morning.
Pete Tartline, executive deputy secretary for the governor's budget office, told the Senate Finance Committee and a packed hearing room that the companies that dropped out of the procurement process were Tatts Group, which operates lotteries in Australia, and Rhode Island-based GTECH Corp., which has won previous lottery contracts here.
The hearing is the first opportunity that state lawmakers have had to publicly raise questions on the sole bid received in November from Camelot.
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.
AFSCME Council 13, which represents about 170 of the 230 state lottery workers, offered a counter proposal, which was rejected.
The labor group is arguing that the firm's proposal would provide less funding for seniors programs and too little security against missing its profit margins.
Some lawmakers have shown skepticism toward the closely-held process used during eight months of private talks between the Corbett administration and companies interested in managing the state lottery.
Republican Sen. Pat Vance of Cumberland County said during questioning this morning that "some of these questions have come about because of the lack of transparency."
Sen. John Blake, D-Lackawanna, asked about the administration's legal ability to move forward on a contract without input or authorization from legislators.
"It's not the governor's lottery, not the revenue secretary's lottery. It's the people's lottery, the people's asset," Mr. Blake said, adding on plans to execute a contract without a vote in the General Assembly: "At best it's arrogant. At worst it's political."
Mr. Tartline defended the decision to announce the notice of award to Camelot late Friday, saying it wasn't intended as a "political ploy" or "slap in the face" but rather as a necessary step under the procurement code to allow officials to address details of the pending proposal.
"It was a statement of our intent to move forward," Mr. Tartline said. "We now can speak freely about the procurement."
Administration officials also said Camelot has filed to incorporate its operation within Pennsylvania, and must do 80 percent of its work in-state.
Harrisburg bureau chief Laura Olson: email@example.com or 717-787-4254.