AG calls private contract for Pa. lottery illegal

    Pennsylvania’s attorney general has deemed the Corbett administration’s contract to privatize the state lottery a losing ticket.  

     

    Attorney General Kathleen Kane has rejected the contract to hand over operations of the lottery to a British firm.

    The Democrat says the deal failed a legality review because it violates both the state constitution and state law on gambling.

    “This finding makes no determination regarding policy or the wisdom of the business decision. Only the legality of the contract,” she said.

    She’s dismissing criticism from the Corbett administration that rejecting the deal means less money for seniors programs.

    “It is disingenuous to put the cart before the horse by promising money to people in need based upon a contract before making sure that that contract was legal and then blaming the messenger when it is deemed illegal,” said Kane.

    In recent days, Gov. Tom Corbett and Brian Duke, the secretary of the Department of Aging, have warned of “financial implications” if the contract is not finalized.

    They point to a loss of $50 million for seniors programs that would have been available for the next fiscal year, had the contract gone through.

    Meanwhile, state Treasurer Rob McCord commended Kane for her “independent review andsubsequent rejection of the administration’s attempt to expand gambling through the state contracting process.”The administration was repeatedly warned, as early as last year, that the proposed contract would permit new forms of gambling not currently authorized by the Legislature and not regulated by the Gaming ControlBoard,” McCord said in a statement.

    Kane took no questions after her announcement.

    A spokeswoman requested reporters to submit written questions by e-mail due to what she called the technical legalities of the contract review.

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