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No need to privatize lottery

| Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

While the Corbett administration works to finalize a contract to put our 41-year-old Pennsylvania Lottery under the managerial control of a private British firm, disturbing revelations have emerged.

While Camelot Global Services officials recently traveled from England to testify at hearings in Harrisburg about how the lottery would thrive under their leadership, problems surfaced back home.

The Camelot brass proclaimed they could reach new sales heights for our lottery, yet they recently raised ticket prices in England. They offered assurances that nearly all 230 Pennsylvania Lottery workers would likely be offered jobs. But in the U.K., the company is laying off 80 staff people and closing regional centers.

Here's the topper: Camelot raised prices and cut staff, but handed out millions in bonuses to senior executives.

None of these troubling business practices were disclosed in Harrisburg.

The Corbett administration consummated the Camelot deal behind closed doors with no public disclosure or legislative authorization, ignoring other states that privatized with disastrous results.

The Pennsylvania Lottery is one of the best-operated lotteries in the nation and sales increase yearly. It has raised more than $27.6 billion for senior citizens' programs.

With this record, I fail to understand why Corbett is bent on saddling our lottery with foreign management for decades to come.

And the more we find out about this firm's problems and business practices, the more uneasy we should be with this privatization scheme.

Richard Kasunic

Harrisburg

The writer, a Democrat, is a state senator representing Fayette and Somerset counties.

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