Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Lottery Deal Being Revised to Address Ag Concerns

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Lottery Deal Being Revised to Address Ag Concerns

Article excerpt

HARRISBURG -- Facing a deadline to appeal the attorney general's denial of a contract for the private management of the Pennsylvania Lottery, the Corbett administration said Friday it instead would revise the agreement to make clear its plan is legal.

Profits from the lottery fund programs for seniors, and Gov. Tom Corbett has touted the proposed 20-year management agreement with Camelot Global Services as a way to ensure steady and increased funding for a growing population of older Pennsylvanians. Camelot, which manages the United Kingdom's lottery, had committed to generating $34 billion in lottery profits over 20 years, in part by introducing online ticket sales and keno.

But that plan was sidelined in February, when Attorney General Kathleen Kane said her office had determined the contract violated state law. Mr. Corbett, a former attorney general, said he strongly disagreed, and for weeks has said he was determining how to respond.

With an appeal to the courts due today, the governor's office announced late Friday it would revise the contract "in order to provide clarification to the attorney general."

The attorney general had raised three objections to the contract: that it infringes on the Legislature's power to make policy; that state lottery law does not allow monitor-based games, like keno; and that it included too broad a provision for Camelot to make claims against the state.

The administration does not plan to remove keno or other components of the contract, but rather to demonstrate that the agreement is lawful.

"The changes that we propose making are just to clarify the concepts within the contract to illustrate that existing law, regulations and contracts do provide for such authority," said Elizabeth Brassell, spokeswoman for the state Department of Revenue. "We're not looking to change the terms and conditions of the contract. …

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