Uneasy over deal with Lottery bidder, Pa. treasurer could withhold payment
January 28, 2013By Mary Wilson
Pennsylvania's treasurer could throw a wrench into plans to privatize the state Lottery by withholding payments to Camelot Global Services.
Treasurer Rob McCord is still weighing whether to refuse to distribute funds to Camelot, the private bidder that landed the deal with the Corbett administration.
He says his concerns haven't subsided when it comes to plans to add thousands of keno terminals and, eventually, online games to the Lottery.
McCord says he may withhold payments for the Lottery even if the deal gets past the state attorney general's office, which has a few more weeks to review the contract.
"I do know I have previously run into a situation where the attorney general says, 'The contract looks legal to me,' and we're like, 'Fine, yes, the contract looks legal, but we're not allowed to make this payment because of the statute...'
"And we basically prevailed in that context previously," he said.
McCord, a Democrat who is rumored to be exploring a gubernatorial bid in 2014, alerted the Corbett administration last month of his concerns about expanding games by way of a contract instead of going through the Legislature.
The governor's office insists it has the authority to add to lottery games without lawmakers' approval.
Representatives of Camelot, a British comopany, have promised $34 billion in profits over the 20 years of the deal.
The union representing most of the Pennsylvania Lottery workers says it could reap even more than that if it were allowed to run the Lottery with additional games.
And AFSCME Council 13 has filed multiple suits seeking to block implementation of the contract.