Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pennsylvania Lottery Privatization Moves Forward

Pennsylvania is the only state in the nation that allots all revenue earned from the state lottery solely to programs for seniors. It appears Pennsylvania is set to become the third state in the nation, following Illinois and Indiana, to privatize its state lottery system. Romy Varghehse, reporting for Bloomberg, has an interesting piece detailing Pennsylvania's new lottery proposal.

Pennsylvania governor, Tom Corbett, recently granted Camelot Global Services a 20 year contract to run the state's lottery system. Camelot Global Services is a subsidiary of Camelot Group Plc. which runs Britain's national lottery. The contract has been sent over to the Attorney General's office for review before the deal can be finalized. Camelot was the sole bidder for control of the lottery back in November, and the company expects to earn 34 billion in profits for the state over the next 20 years. 

Pennsylvania's lottery earned $1.06 billion in total profits during the most recent fiscal year, a new record for the state. Many people question why the governor wants to change something that appears to be working and trending in the right direction. Representative Mike Sturla voices his concern over the proposed deal: “People have serious concerns regarding the transferring of a thriving state asset that generated millions of dollars for senior programs last year to a foreign private firm accountable only to profiteers with little oversight.” Regardless of the concerns raised, it appears that Pennsylvania is moving forward with lottery privatization and few hurdles remain to finalize the deal. 

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