Pa. Lottery changes still have a chance

    State senators will soon take the next formal step toward making changes to the Pennsylvania Lottery.

    At an upcoming hearing, they plan to hear from national researchers and state officials concerning expansion of the lottery to include more games and outsourcing its management.

    The original push to add to game offerings came from the Corbett administration during its effort to privatize a portion of the lottery.

    That effort was a flop, ending in a rejected contract and an abandoned near-deal with a British firm.

    Now, in the face of a potential budget deficit of up to $1 billion, lawmakers are interested, said Erik Arneson, spokesman for the Republican Senate majority leader.

    “Our focus is on what can generate additional revenue for the state lottery,” he said. “We believe that expanding to new games can do that.”

    Senate Republicans also are considering to what extent privatizing the lottery’s management can bring in more revenue for programs benefiting seniors, Arneson said.

    GOP Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi has said he’d like to freeze property tax increases for seniors.

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