Monday March 18,2013 : GOVERNOR IN ANOTHER ATTEMPT TO PRIVATISE PENNSYLVANIAN LOTTERY (Update)
Camelot contract to be "revised" to comply with state AG's requirements
Last month's conflict over the privatisation of the Pennsylvania state lottery between the governor, Tom Corbett, and his Attorney General Kathleen Kane has led to the governor ordering a revision of the proposed contract with British lottery operator Camelot.
Kane derailed the plan, which involved a 20 to 30 year contract with Camelot, in February because she advised that state law doesn’t allow the governor to privatise the management of the lottery, nor does it allow the expansion of gambling that the contract would permit – especially in regard to online activity.
Proponents of maintaining the status quo on the lottery point to its continued multibillion-dollar success, questioning why it is necessary to privatise and meddle with a well-established and efficient state enterprise, the entire proceeds of which currently go to state projects.
The Associated Press news agency reports that the governor's office said in a statement Friday that by revising the vendor contract with Camelot Global Services, it will provide clarification to Kane and her office and was “the next step” in the governor’s oft-stated intent to secure "predictable Lottery funding for senior programs” in the state.
The state Department of Revenue will submit a revised contract to Kane’s office in the “upcoming months,” the statement revealed, although it did not give details of the clauses that would be revisited.
On Saturday the publication Philly.com noted that Corbett could have fought the AG's decision in court, but decided instead to change the contract to comply with her requirements because that route might entail stalling the privatisation initiative for a prolonged period of time.
The governor has since extended Camelot's bid to June 30 2013.
Philly.com also quoted statements earlier last week by Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, who said that the administration was looking to scale back the scope of gambling allowed under Camelot's contract.
Senate Republicans, including Scarnati, had been pressing the administration to make it clear that the lottery could not compete with the state's land casinos through online gambling.
With a bill from Pennsylvania Representative Tina Davis reportedly seeking the legalization of intrastate online gambling ready to launch, that could result in some intense state legislature politicking in the near future.