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Governor Corbett sees lottery privatization as jackpot for senior support

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January 28, 2012

By Maresa Strano

Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania: The job of managing the Pennsylvania state lottery is poised to be outsourced to a private management firm based in the United Kingdom called Camelot Global Services. Despite a dearth of popular support for privatization, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett spent the last nine months enthusiastically soliciting potential buyers to take over the operation-estimated to be worth $3.5 billion. In the end, Camelot Global Services was the only bidder, and, pending the contract's clearance by attorney general Kathleen Kane (D) and state treasurer Rob McCord (D), will assume management duties in the near future.[1]

According to a Jan. 17 press release from the governor's office, the contract requires Camelot to provide no less than $34.6 billion in profit over 20 years, which is "at least $3 to $4.5 billion more than Lottery’s sales projections and its historic performance suggest it could generate" otherwise under the current system.[2] In addition to projected marginal returns, the deal is expected to produce efficiencies and save the state a considerable amount of money, although at the cost of many jobs.

Corbett's office has released no official statements addressing the numerous concerns state lawmakers and citizens have expressed about the privatization, including the jobs that will be lost in the changeover and the ostensible secrecy surrounding the contract negotiations between the governor and potential bidders.[1][3] Instead, the governor's office laid out a detailed explanation for why the deal is critical to the survival of government programs supporting Pennsylvania's growing population of senior citizens. Should the contract receive the necessary approval, Corbett says, he can add $50 million to the budget for the specific purpose of improving "home and community-based services so that older adults may continue to live in their homes."[2] The majority of the proposed $50 million will go to the Aging Waiver Program and the OPTIONS Program, which currently provides in-homes services to almost 30,000 seniors over the age of 60 who are deemed "clinically or financially vulnerable." The OPTIONS Program offers various in-home support services to seniors such as home-delivered meals, security assistance, and care management.[2]

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