Pennsylvania Lottery Privatization Pursuit Rumbles On

Thursday October 31 2013 – Governor Corbett has extended the deadline for Camelot to take over the management of the Pennsylvania State Lottery until the end of the year, despite criticism from lawmakers over the spiralling costs. The bid is now due to expire on December 31.

Governor Corbett (picture from Twitter.com)

Governor Corbett (picture from Twitter.com)

Originally, the estimated price tag for outsourcing the management of the lottery was capped at $375,000 when legal advisors DLA Piper first took on the work in March 2012. However, since then revisions to the contract, extensions to the bid and the hiring of extra financial and legal advisors have seen the costs spiral out of control to reach nearly $5 million.

Despite these costs, supporters of the bill are still confident that the return on investment will be worthwhile, given that Camelot has pledged to boost lottery profits by $34 billion during their proposed 20 year contract.

However, more and more Democratic and Republican lawmakers are announcing their opposition to the proposed bill. Back in February 2013, Attorney State General Kathleen Kane was the first to voice her concerns, rejecting the contract as “illegal” as it violated the state of Pennsylvania’s constitution.

Since then, the ever-increasing costs of the deal have led to others voicing their concerns, especially as these costs are coming directly out of lottery profits which are used to fund projects for the state’s growing senior citizen population.

In a press conference on Monday, State Treasurer Rob McCord called for the Governor to put an end to the bid which he referred to as “a failed and costly experiment”. He noted that the funds paid to DLA Piper alone had so far reached $3.4 million – an amount which would be higher than the tallest skyscraper in Pennsylvania if stacked up in $1 bills.

“This is real money that should have been used to help our senior citizens,” McCord went on to say. “Instead, it has lined the pockets of consultants who are pursuing an ill-advised plan to privatize our efficient and well-administered lottery.”

Judging by last year’s record-breaking lottery sales, which hit $3.69 billion and produced $1 billion in profit, McCord may have a point. At this time however, Governor Corbett continues to hedge his bets with the most recent extension and more news is now expected at the end of December.

You can read more about the history of the bid here.

In Other Pennsylvania Lottery News

The Pennsylvania Lottery has launched a range of six seasonal scratch offs to celebrate Christmas. Players can choose between Snow Days, Cashing Thru The Snow, Merry Multiplier, Holiday Gifts, Sleigh Ride or Merry Millionaire.

The scratch offs are priced between $1 and $20 and offer players the chance to win up to $1 million. For more information, visit the Instant Games area on the Pennsylvania Lottery website.

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