Statewide Coalition Launches Effort to Protect Lottery
SCRANTON, Pa., Dec. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Seniors and working Pennsylvanians across the state today announced the launch of Protect Our Lottery – www.protectourlottery.org – a coalition committed to ensuring the long-term viability of the life-saving programs the lottery funds.
"Seniors across the state are concerned about Gov. Corbett's risky scheme to privatize management of the lottery – and rightly so. There have been no public hearings. Lawmakers in both parties are frustrated because they don't have all the facts so they can make an informed decision," said Jean Friday, President of the PA Alliance for Retired Americans. "The Corbett administration owes it to every Pennsylvanian to open this process up and allow the public and our elected lawmakers to participate."
The Corbett administration is pursuing a deal to turn over management of the lottery to Camelot Global Services, a gaming firm based in the United Kingdom. Camelot is the only company to 'bid' for the lottery after closed door negotiations. The company has put a Dec. 31 deadline on the state to accept its offer.
"The lottery provided more than $1 billion to programs for seniors – from paying for prescription drugs and property tax relief to funding for senior centers and nursing home care. Now, all of a sudden, we're running a 'year-end clearance sale' for this valuable asset? It's absurd," said David Fillman, Executive Director of AFSCME Council 13.
"It goes without saying that we're concerned about 170 hard working employees who will be put out on the street if the lottery is privatized. But the stakes here are much greater and every senior and every Pennsylvanian should be concerned," Fillman said.
As part of the takeover, Camelot will launch Keno and potentially other online games as well as online ticket sales. The Corbett administration maintains that it has the legal authority to expand gambling without seeking legislative approval.
We hear all the time that government should run like a business – and that's exactly what the hard-working people at the Lottery have done. The administrative costs are roughly 2 percent and the lottery is coming off its best year ever," Fillman said. "If this administration wants to expand gambling to create more revenue, we can do that right now,' Fillman said. "What does Camelot bring to the table?"
Protect Our Lottery's members are urging Pennsylvanians to contact Gov. Corbett directly and their lawmakers to stop the fire sale.
"Too many seniors depend on the lottery to afford prescription drugs, stay in their homes and maintain their quality of life to allow a rash decision to be made," Friday said.
For more information, please visit www.protectourlottery.org or find us on Facebook by searching for Protect Our Lottery.
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