Lottery rejection a bad move say officials

lotteryUNDATED — Governor Tom Corbett’s administration has returned a $50 million security deposit to a British firm that had submitted the only bid to manage the Pennsylvania Lottery before Attorney General Kathleen Kane rejected the contract as illegal.

According to Department of Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser, Corbett disagrees with Kane’s conclusion.  “Of course we believe it to be constitutional and legal and we have six or seven years of legal opinion before this administration on our side.  We are trying to do something new, different and creative and not just tax and spend.  We are trying to bring a public-private partnership into this for the benefit of all Pennsylvanians.

Meuser says they were never interested in selling the lottery or relinquishing control.  He says Camelot Global Services is a British Firm that is incorporated in Pennsylvania and owned by the Ontario Teacher Pension Fund in Canada.  They were looking to them as an investment.

“This company was going to come in and grow the lottery fund over the next 10 years at a minimum $1.2 billion more than we feel we can do on our own.  They are also providing $250 million in a reserve that we can draw from if the company does not make their financial commitments.  So, Pennsylvania is assured those levels either way.”

Meuser says in the last five years the lottery’s cumulative profits have been $30 million.  Under the proposed agreement with Camelot, Meuser says the cumulative growth of the lottery would be over $1 billion.  Corbett says he is still deciding whether to appeal Kane’s rejection of the lottery contract. (Sara Bartlett)

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