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Officials Detail Plan to Private Pennsylvania’s State Lottery

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(Witnesses are sworn in before testifying before the Pennsylvania Senate Finance Committee about lottery privatization.  Credit: Tony Romeo)

(Witnesses are sworn in before testifying before the Pennsylvania Senate Finance Committee about lottery privatization. Credit: Tony Romeo)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — Corbett administration officials and representatives of the private firm in line for a contract to manage the Pennsylvania Lottery appeared before state lawmakers today to answer questions.

The Corbett administration announced Friday that it intends to award a contract to Camelot Global Services — a Canadian-owned, British-based company — to run the state lotteries (see related story).

Democratic lawmakers have been vocal in their opposition.  But while he wasn’t ready to get behind the plan, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee -– John Blake of Lackawanna County -– said he did feel better after Monday’s hearing before the panel, including “the corporate philosophy of Camelot, the fact that they’re going to be incorporated in Pennsylvania, the fact that they feel that they’re giving us an upside at some risk to their private capital.”

But David Fillman, head of the union representing Pennsylvania Lottery workers, disputed the guarantees that Camelot is making and vowed to fight on.

“Where it goes at this point I’m not sure, but our battle does not end with this hearing,” he said today.

The union is fighting the proposal in court, and has also filed a grievance and an Unfair Labor Practice charge.

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