By Mark Abrams
HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) —- Governor Tom Corbett has decided to abandon the state’s effort to get a private operator from Great Britain to take over the Pennsylvania lottery.
Corbett’s spokesman, Jay Pagni, says the administration decided today not to extend the bid by the operator of the British national lottery, which had promised more than $3 billion in revenues over 20 years as part of the takeover of Pennsylvania’s operations.
“It does not mean that we are abandoning any initiatives associated with making our successful lottery even better,” Pagni told KYW Newsradio today.
The bid by Camelot Global Services was challenged by Pennsylvania attorney general Kathleen Kane, who claimed it was illegal (see previous story).
The Corbett administration had been extending that bid for more than a year in efforts to work out a host of issues (see related story).
However, Pagni says, the governor’s decision doesn’t rule out anything to improve lottery revenues, including pursuing a deal with another private operator.
The Pennsylvania Lottery is among the nation’s largest, with $3.7 billion in sales last year.
The Camelot bid faced numerous hurdles. The process was criticized as too secretive and rigged to favor Camelot, which was the only bidder.
Corbett insisted the deal would help the lottery make more money.
But he was unable to persuade Republican lawmakers to approve it, and Democrats pounded it as siphoning money from programs that benefit the elderly.