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Attorney General Rejects Corbett's Lottery Privatization Plan

State Sen. Matt Smith and others laud the decision.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has rejected the Corbett Administration’s plan to privatize the management of the Pennsylvania Lottery to a U.K.-based company Camelot Global Services—and Senate Democrats lauded the plan.

"It has been clear from the beginning that the Corbett administration’s plan to privatize the management of the lottery was flawed and could potentially jeopardize vital senior programs, " State Sen. Matt Smith, D-Mt. Lebanon said today in a statement.

Smith said the plan lacked transparency, noting that the public has not been able to glean specific details about the plan and what it would mean for the many senior programs funded through lottery proceeds.

“I was particularly troubled by the drastic expansion of gaming through Keno proposed by the governor without legislative approval or oversight. I am relieved that the Attorney General recognized that the plan violates the Pennsylvania Constitution and usurps the General Assembly’s authority."

At a news conference Thursday in Harrisburg, Kane said that she could not approve the deal negotiated between the Corbett Administration and Camelot. 

She cited several reasons for her denial including that the arrangement infringed on the legislative powers of the General Assembly, that the plan was an illegal expansion of gaming without proper authorization and that the plan involved a waiver of sovereign immunity.

Republican Party of Pennsylvania Executive Director Mike Barley released a statement on Kane’s decision, calling it irresponsible, “blatantly political" and "downright shameful."

"Gov. Corbett’s plan to reform our lottery system will give $50 million in additional funding to Pennsylvania’s seniors. Kathleen Kane has put union bosses and Harrisburg Democrats first and it is a failure of the Attorney General’s office to reject this proposal on purely political grounds,” Barley said.

Smith said the decision provides a new opportunity for the General Assembly to work with the Pennsylvania Lottery to determine where modernization efforts and increased profits can be realized.

"I welcome that conversation provided that it occurs in a transparent and open manner,” Smith said.

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