The pros and cons of privatizing the lottery


Late Friday afternoon, the Corbett administration announced it had issued a “notice of award” to the UK’s Camelot Group to run the Commonwealth’s lottery. Camelot, the only bidder on the contract, promised that over its 20-year contract it will provide the state with $34 billion in profits by adding games like keno, expanding the number of retailers and enticing new players to buy lottery tickets. Corbett says he fast-tracked the privatization effort to meet the needs of programs which are funded by the lottery to serve a quickly-growing population of older Pennsylvanians. Numerous concerns about privatization have been raised by Democratic legislators who had the opportunity to question the move at a hearing held yesterday in Harrisburg and AFSCME13, the union representing 258 state lottery employees. By law the Union had an opportunity to offer a counter-proposal which it says could generate $1.5 billion more in profits. Joining us to talk about the pros and cons of privatizing the lottery are journalist JOHN MICEK of the Allentown Morning Call, Holy Cross professor VICTOR MATHESON who studies the economics of lotteries and DAVID FILLMAN of AFSCME13, the union representing state lottery employees.

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