State Gaming Control Board counsel questions plan for lottery
HARRISBURG — A third state agency is pointing to potential legal problems in Gov. Tom Corbett's stalled plan to hire a British company to manage the $3.5 billion Pennsylvania Lottery.
The chief counsel of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board wrote in a letter last month that the proposed contract documents are ambiguous and do not say clearly what kinds of new gambling Camelot Global Services would be allowed to operate.
As a result, it is impossible to say whether it infringes on the gaming board's authority under state casino gambling laws or establishes illegal forms of gambling, the board's top lawyer, Douglas Sherman, wrote.
“Despite the references to Keno, Internet games and monitor-based gaming, none of the mentioned documents provide a level of detail or description of the games contemplated, or the types of operations of the monitors contemplated for use in Keno or any other monitor-based game,” Sherman wrote.
The letter, dated March 18, was a response to an analysis that had been requested by members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees as lawmakers sort through legal questions raised previously by state Treasurer Rob McCord and Attorney General Kathleen Kane.
Corbett, a Republican, has not sought lawmakers' approval in his attempt to hire Camelot on a 20- to 30-year contract to manage one of the nation's largest lotteries. It is a key test on privatization for Corbett, who promised when he ran for governor that he would look to privatize some state services.
Corbett has said he believes Camelot can produce higher and more stable lottery profits for the state programs that benefit the elderly. Democratic lawmakers have criticized Corbett as simply diverting hundreds of millions of dollars from programs for the elderly to a foreign company.
In December, McCord told Corbett's administration that he may not pay the company until he was satisfied that Camelot's vague plans to expand lottery gambling were clearly legal under state law.
Then in February, Kane rejected the contract, saying parts of it, including its expansion of gambling, contravene the state constitution or are not authorized by state law. The attorney general's office reviews state contracts for form and legality, and Kane's office insisted that the contract's rejection was not politically motivated.
The gaming board's viewpoint might be seen as less partisan than that of Kane or McCord, both of whom are Democrats.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Casey, Coons become 32nd, 33rd senators to back nuclear deal with Iran
- Potential suspension of Pennsylvania AG’s license unusual
- State’s high court rules in favor of turnpike worker, will get another chance to prove his firing violated whistlebower laws
- Pennsylvania welfare employees targeted in crackdown
- Conneaut Lake Park wants to sell some land
- Ex-LCB official Short to plead guilty to soliciting, concealing kickbacks from vendors
- Democrats stand firm, deny GOP the margin needed in Pa. budget battle
- Pa. Gov. Wolf: Big changes needed in troubled school district