Pa. takes steps to privatize state Lottery

    The Corbett administration is taking bids from private groups looking to manage the Pennsylvania Lottery.

    Not everyone in Harrisburg thinks privatization is a winning ticket.

    The governor’s office announced in April it was looking to turn over part of the Lottery to a private manager. Taking bids is just the next step in that process.

    Democratic lawmakers object to the notion the Lottery needs to be privatized and say they’re dismayed they haven’t been able to provide more input. But Gov. Tom Corbett says it’s out of the state Legislature’s domain.

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    “This doesn’t require legislation,” he said. “Now if I find that it’s going to cause us to lose money, are we going to do it? No.”

    Corbett’s office has laid down its terms for any Lottery privatization deal.

    Among them is that any agreement would span 20 years, with plans to grow profit and possibly implement Keno-like and Internet-based games.

    Corbett says it should come as no surprise to lawmakers that the administration is ready to take bids on the Lottery.

    “We’ve said from day one we’re going to see what all we can privatize,” he said. “You know, what I really want to privatize is the LCB. We’ve got to be out of that business. But that requires legislation.”

    Last year, the Lottery’s profits amounted to more than $1 billion.

    The money went toward programs for seniors.

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