Treasurer balks at Pa. Lottery leasing venture

    The latest Democrat to voice concerns about the potential privatization of the Pennsylvania Lottery is the one guy who could keep the money from flowing.

    State Treasurer Rob McCord says he may not play along with any contract that hands over the operation of the lottery to a company that promises to expand gambling.

    Adding games to the lottery’s repertoire is believed to be a surefire way to boost profits, a key term of the bid currently under review.

    But the treasurer’s spokesman, Gary Tuma, says expanding gambling may require the approval of the Legislature or the Gaming Control Board.

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    “Therefore Treasurer McCord is concerned that he may not be legally able to pay that private managing company under his responsibility to ensure that all disbursement of public money is done in accordance with the law,” Tuma said Wednesday.

    A spokeswoman for the state Department of Revenue, which oversees the lottery, says the agency is well within its authority to explore gaming expansion.

    If the lottery’s operations are leased to Britain-based Camelot Global Services, the only company with a bid under consideration, all the money necessary to keep the lottery going would still have to come from the commonwealth.

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