PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Created more than 40 years ago, the Pennsylvania Lottery has been a state-run program to generate funds for programs benefiting senior citizens.
But now, Gov. Tom Corbett and his Revenue Department are considering turning the operation of the lottery over to a British company called Camelot Global Services for a guaranteed profit of $34 billion over the next 20 years.
“First of all, we’re going to take the bid that was received and compare it against historical Lottery performance data, and also take a look at Lottery projections to see if there is incremental value in growth above and beyond what Lottery could achieve on its own. And so, we’re going to take a deeper dive into the numbers in the bid,” Revenue Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Brassell told KDKA money editor Jon Delano.
Last year, the Lottery earned a profit of just over $1 billion. So, on the surface, the deal might look good, but some Lottery customers are skeptical.
“In this case, if you contract out of the country, there’s more of a chance of fraud occurring both on the state and the consumer,” says Maureen McNeill of Scott Township.
“I think we should keep the money in the USA. We got no money here, so we’re going to send it over there?” adds Joe Rogers of Brookline.
Camelot Global has promised to update the system with online lottery purchases and perhaps even keno, but Brassell says the state could do that anyway.
“Those options are on the table whether we execute a contract for a private manager or whether Lottery continues to manage as it has done for the last 40 years,” she says.
State officials say they will make their decision by the end of this year.
If they do accept this bid from the British company, Pennsylvania will be one of only three states in the nation to contract out their Lottery services.