Dems say Corbett’s Pa. Lottery profit picture skewed

    State House Democrats are taking issue with the Corbett Administration’s push to keep advancing a plan to privatize the Pennsylvania Lottery.

    They say recent comments about the lottery’s most recent profit growth shows how the administration is being misleading.

    Corbett’s office is comparing the current publicly managed lottery’s most recent profit growth of 1 percent with a plan to lease the lottery to a British firm and get yearly profit growth of 9 percent, said state Rep. Joe Markosek, D-Allegheny.

    “What they are leaving out of that part of the story is that they want to introduce some more games which, first of all, would have to be approved by the Legislature,” said the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee.

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    Markosek says the new games being introduced, chiefly keno drawings, could be added to lottery offerings without privatization.

    “With the state employees operating in a very efficient manner, the revenue would be enhanced perhaps even more with the current situation,” he said Tuesday.

    And last year’s lottery profit comes in spite of expenses associated with the privatization push, Markosek said.

    The state owes roughly $3.5 million to consultants who worked on a contract to lease the lottery to British firm Camelot Global Services.

    Markosek also said last year’s lottery profit appears small compared with the year prior because of a one-time windfall of nearly $12 million from the sale of securities in 2011.

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