Jan 14

Pennsylvania Lottery Will Not Be Privatized

pennsylvania-lotteryFriday December 2 2013 – After a year of attempting to privatize the Pennsylvania Lottery, Governor Tom Corbett said on Monday that he is ending his pursuit of hiring Camelot to run the PA Lottery. Corbett had been consulting for months on privatization options, but legal challenges and opposition from various groups have made finalizing an agreement difficult.

Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers announced their opposition to the proposed bill in 2013 and Attorney State General Kathleen Kane was the first to voice her concerns. Kane rejected the original contract in February 2013 ruling that the lottery deal violated the state’s constitution.

Following Kane’s concerns, others voiced their objections to the privatization with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 13 (AFSCME) claiming that hiring a private company to run the state lottery would result in job losses.

In the statement released by Corbett earlier this week, he said: “As we move forward, we will take what we’ve learned to make our successful lottery even better. We plan to expand the player and retailer base, improve player loyalty and implement strategies that will grow our lottery, responsibly and efficiently.” Although Corbett has ended the bid, he remains on good terms with Camelot and Alex Kovach, Camelot’s Managing Director, said the firm is open to future opportunities with the PA Lottery.

Democrats were happy with Corbett’s decision but have said that the bid was “wasteful, secretive and ill-conceived.” The cost for the bid was originally anticipated to be $375,000, but with numerous extensions and the additional cost of hiring extra financial and legal advisors, the cost reached nearly $5 million.

Despite making the decision to end the bid now, Corbett hasn’t ruled out another attempt to privatize the lottery in the future. Currently Indiana, Illinois and New Jersey are the only states that have hired private firms to manage their state lotteries.

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

by Patrick Fitzgerald
Updated January 3rd, 2014

Dec 13

Pennsylvania Lawmaker Wants To Give Lottery Winners the Right to Anonymity

pennsylvania-lotteryMonday December 9 2013 – At present, lottery winners in Pennsylvania have to reveal their identities but, in plans unveiled by a state lawmaker, this could soon become a thing of the past.

PA lawmaker, Rep. Ted Harhai introduced legislation last Friday that, if approved, would allow lottery winners in the state to decide whether or not their name is made public. However, the town and county of the winning ticket holder would still be revealed.

Harhai believes that publicizing lottery winners makes them a target and allowing winners to decide whether they want to be named could help them avoid the consequences of going public. In a statement, Harhai said: “Many people, both legitimate and criminal, come out of the woodwork to try and reap some of those winnings for themselves. Allowing winners the option of remaining anonymous is the least we can do to protect them from those who would prey upon them.”

Rep. Ted Harhai (picture from Twitter.com)

Rep. Ted Harhai (picture from Twitter.com)

However, PA lottery officials say that winners’ names have always been public record for a reason. Gary Miller, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Lottery, said: “It helps to protect the integrity of the lottery and it reassures players that our winners are real people.”

Earlier this year, officials changed how winners’ names were displayed on their website as they noticed an increase in scams targeting previous lottery winners. Instead of displaying the full name, now the list only reveals a winner’s first name and first letter of their last name. However, should players want to talk about their win, their full name is revealed. Despite the change, Harhai still believes there is more that can be done to help winners.

Should this legislation be approved, Pennsylvania would join Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, South Carolina, Kansas and North Dakota as the only states which allow winners to remain anonymous.

A poll running on PennLive.com canvased opinion on whether lottery winners in Pennsylvania should be allowed to keep their identity a secret. According the poll*, 87% of people that voted believed winners deserve their privacy while 13% felt that winner’s names should be revealed or only offered the option of anonymity if they win over $1 million.

The Pennsylvania state Department of Revenue, which manages the lottery, has not yet taken a position on Harhai’s legislation.

*figures correct as of December 9 2013

by Mike Redfern
Updated July 4th, 2018

Dec 13

Pennsylvania Lottery Moves Closer to Privatization

Saturday December 6 2013 – Governor Corbett has been trying to hire a private firm to manage the Pennsylvania Lottery for over a year and has repeatedly extended the deadline. Now it appears that the privatization of the lottery might be one step closer as one of the most vocal critics of the proposal may be warming to the idea of a private company managing Pennsylvania’s lottery.

Officials from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 13 (AFSCME), the union which represents 170 lottery workers, have been in talks with the Corbett administration to come to an agreement. The dispute with the AFSCME came about as a result of concerns that hiring a private company would result in job losses.

Governor Corbett (picture from Twitter.com)

Governor Corbett (picture from Twitter.com)

After recent talks, both sides have agreed to a plan which will require the private company to continue using state-employed, union represented employees to work for the Pennsylvania Lottery. Corbett’s administration officials believe that the proposed agreement would not cause a change to Camelot’s operating costs or to the profits it would generate. The union’s Executive Director, David Fillman, and Jay Pagni, the Governor’s Press Secretary, confirmed that both sides have agreed to the plan, although Mr. Fillman said both sides have yet to come to a final agreement.

Camelot, who also manages the National Lottery in the UK, has pledged to boost Pennsylvania Lottery profits by $34 billion during their proposed 20 year contract, mainly by introducing online ticket sales and the addition of new games.

Corbett’s efforts to privatize the lottery have been meet with heavy opposition and Attorney State General, Kathleen Kane, voiced her concerns back in February and said that the proposal was “illegal” as it violated the state of Pennsylvania’s constitution.

After many extensions, the bid for Camelot to manage the lottery is set to expire on December 31 2013, the first anniversary of the original expiration date. Corbett’s administration is trying to get all parties to come to an agreement in the next two weeks before the chamber breaks for Christmas.

LotteryWorld will bring you the latest news on the Pennsylvania Lottery as it emerges.

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

by Patrick Fitzgerald
Updated December 6th, 2013

Oct 13

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.

by Sadie Walton
Updated July 4th, 2018

Aug 13

Camelot Bid for PA Lottery Extended For Tenth Time

Saturday August 31 2013Governor Tim Corbett has reached an agreement with UK based Camelot Global Services for a tenth extension in their bid to run the Pennsylvania Lottery. This follows months of debate within the state administration regarding how to proceed with the management of the lottery, including whether or not to reject the bid and keep the lottery state-run. This new extension will run until October 29.

Camelot, who is the sole private lottery manager bidder for the contract, first expressed their interest in taking over the Penn State Lottery back in November 2012 and were granted a Notice of Award in January 2013 after pledging to generate over $34.6 billion in profits for the state over the next 20 years. According to Governor Corbett, this figure is $3 – $4.5 billion more than the state run lottery currently produces.

Some of Camelot’s plans for expansion include selling lottery tickets online and introducing a new Keno game. Governor Corbett voted in favour of the privatisation bid, stating that the increased revenue it would bring in would be a way for the state to continue to serve the growing elderly population who are the recipients of the lottery profits.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane had an opposing view. She disagreed with the privatisation bid and announced she was unhappy signing the contract over to a British firm. State Treasurer Rob McCord and other Democrats agreed with her opposition and also cited their concern over the 200 plus state lottery workers who would lose their jobs.

Governor Corbett was hoping PA would follow in the footsteps of the Illinois and Indiana Lotteries who have signed contracts with private lottery managers. However, after the tenth extension was agreed just this week, reaching a privatisation agreement just seems to be getting further and further away for Camelot and Governor Corbett.

Speculation is also continuing to mount that Governor Corbett may be ready to turn his back on the bid and proceed with trying to bolster state lottery profits by continuing to run it in house. However, part of the privatisation appeal to Governor Corbett was the $200 million security fund pledged to the state by Camelot should the lottery profits fall below their projections.

With disagreements and bickering over the bid still occupying administration and local media, the only current certainly is that this discussion is far from over. Lottery World will bring you the latest news on this story as and when it breaks.

In Other Lottery News

Tonight’s Powerball jackpot is an estimated $142 million after rolling over for the sixth time in a row. State lottery jackpots are also looking healthy, with the Ohio Lottery jackpot topping $44.8 million and the New York Lotto reaching $6.6 million.

You can keep up with the latest results for all US lotteries by visiting Lottery.net.

by Sadie Walton
Updated March 1st, 2017