By WJAC Web Staff and The Associated Press
HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Corbett announced Monday that he was ending his efforts to privatize the Pennsylvania Lottery.
Corbett said in a release that the commonwealth will not continue to pursue the Lottery Private Management Agreement with Camelot Global LLC, a British firm. The initial deal to privatize the lottery through Camelot was first reached in April of 2012.
Camelot was awarded the job in November of 2012 and was the only bidder for the lottery deal, which some criticized as being too secretive and rigged in favor of the company. Following the bid announcement, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane challenged the legality of the lottery sale, leading to several extensions within the agreement. Camelot was promising $34 billion in profits over the next 20 years. Pennsylvania’s lottery is among the nation’s largest, with $3.7 billion in sales last year.
Corbett said the Camelot deal would have helped the lottery make more money. “I want to thank the teams for the hard work and effort,” Corbett said. “Our continued goal is to ensure a growing, predictable revenue stream for senior programs to meet the growing demand, and we will continue to work with all stakeholders and interested parties to explore new ways to harness market resources to enhance our Lottery’s continued success.”
Corbett said the agreement would have assured at least $34.6 billion in profit, an increase of up to $5 billion, which could have been used to invest in senior citizen programs throughout the contract. Corbett said that amount was significantly greater than this year’s profit growth of $6 million. “As we move forward, we will take what we’ve learned to make our successful lottery even better, [through] expanding the player and retailer base, improving player loyalty, and implementing strategies that will grow our lottery, responsibly and efficiently,” Corbett said.
The Pennsylvania Lottery is the primary source of revenue for senior services in the commonwealth.