Pennsylvania Governor Corbett unveiled a plan to outsource the management of the Pennsylvania Lottery to a privately owned corporation based in the United Kingdom.
Proceeds from the Pennsylvania Lottery go to Senior Citizen programs throughout the state. Lottery revenue is used to fund programs like free transit, rent and property tax rebates, senior centers and prescription drug assistance programs.
Camelot Group, the company which runs the national lottery in the U.K. and hopes to run the Pennsylvania Lottery, has begun to expand to overseas markets. In fact, there are three companies that have been actively bidding to run state lotteries in the U.S.: GTECH (in partnership with Scientific Games of N.Y.); Camelot; and a Greek company Intralot. GTECH also a front runner to run the N.J. Lottery, is currently running games in Illinois and Indiana. Intralot is running the lottery in Idaho.
The partnership of Camelot Group with the United Kingdom is not always that smooth either. Camelot has been known to appeal adverse decisions against it to higher courts. It appealed the initial decision that it not be given the U.K. franchise.
Unlike the present arrangement where lottery profits go to the state, Camelot is a privately owned company. That means that some of the profits of the Pennsylvania Lottery would be distributed to private citizens as profits. At the current time, the Ontario Canada Teachers' Pension Plan owns the Camelot Group. Therefore, some of the Pennsylvania Lottery proceeds would be used to support Canadian Seniors in Ontario.
As you might expect, and as reported in other Patch News publications, Corbett's plan has generated controversy among other politicians, the union representing Pennsylvania employees who will be laid off if the lottery is privatized, and private citizens who want the issue put for a vote by the Pennsylvania Legislature before it's implementation.
How do you feel about the issue? Would you play the Pennsylvania Lottery more if it were better run? Are you against outsourcing of some state operations to foreign companies as a matter of principle? How much more do you spend on other forms of gambling (such as Casino gambling or horse racing or card games) than the Pa. Lottery, and why?
Let us know.
Bob Gasparro, Esq. is an Elder Law Practitioner (Accountant and Lawyer). He can be reached at email@example.com or 484-451-6612 with ideas about future posts.