Lottery keno plan unsettles top Pa. GOP lawmakers
January 23, 2013By Mary Wilson
Lawmakers are still waiting for a response from Gov. Tom Corbett on their request to tweak Pennsylvania's contract with the British firm that's due to take over operations of the Pennsylvania Lottery.
The state Senate's top Republicans wrote the governor last week to express concerns with plans to put thousands of machines for keno games in bars and restaurants.
They say such a move on the part of Camelot Global Services would be unfair to the casinos across the commonwealth, which have similar machines but are more tightly regulated.
The contract, or private management agreement, won't allow games such as the slot machines in casinos, says Elizabeth Brassell, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Revenue, which oversees the Pennsylvania Lottery.
"The PMA does not consider video poker, video lottery terminals, video poker-like games," she said Wednesday. "The governor and the administration are committed to a cautious approach to any sort of gaming expansion."
Brassell says the proposed keno terminals, which use video monitors, are different than slot machines because they use a Lottery-central computer system and allow players to compete against each other, instead of against a machine.
It's a sticking point with critics because allowing video lottery terminals and video poker would require legislation.
Camelot, poised to take over the operations of the state lottery, has guaranteed higher profits over a 20-year period if it's able to expand the lottery games to include thousands of keno machines.