The Pennsylvania Lottery is a step closer to becoming privatized. The Department of Revenue announced Friday that they issued a notice of award to Camelot Global Services PA, LLC, which provides for a 20-year Private Management Agreement. A notice of award is not a binding contract. Under Pennsylvania procurement laws, the issuance of the notice of award allows the Corbett administration the opportunity to disclose contractual and procurement details of the Private Management Agreement at the Senate Finance Committee Hearing scheduled for January 14th at the State Capitol.
With the issuance of this award, Secretary of Revenue Dan Meuser, Secretary of Aging Brian Duke and Pete Tartline, Executive Deputy Secretary, Governor’s Budget Office will address all relevant contractual procurement questions at the hearing.
Jay Pagni a Spokesperson for the Commonwealth says, “We were looking for a stable, long-term and meaningful revenue stream for senior programs. Over the next 30 years the senior population is expected to be about 25 percent of the general population. That’s a lot of strain and a lot of demand on services, and with that growing demand there is this need for us to ensure that we have money there. By stabilizing that revenue stream then you can say we want to do more rent rebates we want to make sure more people have access to low-cost prescriptions. We are not privatizing the lottery, we are engaging a private manager for the lottery, the commonwealth will still own the lottery and we do not need legislative approval to hire a private manager.”
Meanwhile AFSCME is suing to stop the contract. Kristie Wolf-Maloney, Director grievance and arbitration department for Council 13 says they are disappointed. “Disappointed is an understatement. The commonwealth had ten days to review our offer under the counter proposal. We gave them a really extensive counter proposal and we fully expected them to review it, not three days later we get a response. Potentially we’re looking at 176 employees that we represent that could lose their jobs. There’s some talk that Camelot will keep some of the current employees but there’s no guarantee of jobs for any of the employees and if they are hired at what kind of rates what kind of benefits what kind of pension certainly not the levels they have with the state right now.” She is also concerned about the money going to seniors. “We believe there’s going to be a 1.244 billion dollar loss to the senior programs. Right now it’s 27 percent of the profits lottery generates go back to the senior program. It’s set to go up to 30 percent in 2015. Written right in the private management agreement is that the Commonwealth will seek to reduce that back down 27 percent that’s where we believe the Lost to the seniors is going to be.”