The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

January 11, 2013

State taps British firm to run $3.5B state lottery

HARRISBURG — Camelot Global Services, the British national lottery operator, is poised to take over management of the $3.5 billion Pennsylvania Lottery after a top official in Gov. Tom Corbett's administration told employees Friday that it has awarded a contract to the company.

That puts Pennsylvania on track to become the third state, after Indiana and Illinois, to hire a private lottery manager.

"We're confident that by combining one of the nation's best lotteries with one of the best private-sector lottery industry experts in the world, we'll end up with a win-win proposition to grow and protect Lottery profits for decades to come," Secretary of Revenue Dan Meuser told employees in the email obtained by The Associated Press.

The Pennsylvania Lottery is one of the nation's largest. Camelot was the sole bidder for the contract.

Administration officials have maintained that Camelot's commitment of $34 billion in lottery profits over 20 years is a better deal than state employees could deliver as the state eyes growing demand for state services for the elderly that are underwritten by the lottery. Critics including state Treasurer Rob McCord and the union representing state lottery employees say Camelot would increase lottery profits largely by an expansion of lottery gambling that they contend is not currently allowed by state law.

David Fillman, the union's executive director, called it "a bad deal for our seniors."

The union claims the current system could outperform Camelot's projections if it were allowed the same gambling expansion the company proposes.

Meuser told employees that the contract has been formally awarded, but Camelot cannot begin work until the contract receives final reviews and signatures required for execution. That is expected to happen next week, he said.

"Following bid execution, Camelot team members will immediately start observing Lottery operations and meeting and interacting with all of you to learn from you and get to know you," Meuser said in the email.

Bringing the process to a successful conclusion is a key test on privatization for Corbett, who promised when he ran for governor that he would look to privatize state services. In addition, securing the contract gives Camelot its biggest footprint yet in the United States.

However, challenges await the Republican governor's agreement with Camelot.

The union, Council 13 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, is suing to block an agreement with Camelot and has filed a grievance and an unfair labor practice charge. The lawsuit challenges the governor's authority to privatize the lottery's management and expand the scope of lottery gambling that is contemplated by Camelot.

Meanwhile, state Treasurer Rob McCord is warning that he may not approve payments to Camelot unless he is satisfied that its planned gambling expansion is authorized by state law.

Spokespeople for Corbett and Meuser did not immediately return messages Friday.

Criticism of secrecy has followed the Corbett administration's negotiations with Camelot. For instance, the business plan Camelot submitted to the Corbett administration remains confidential.

On Monday, Meuser, Camelot executives and representatives of AFSCME and the AARP are expected to testify on the matter before the state Senate Finance Committee.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • Raw oysters spike U.S. rise in bacterial infections, CDC reports

    Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

    April 19, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 19, 2014

  • VIDEO | Boston bomb scare defendant appears in court

    The man accused of carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker near the Boston Marathon finish line on the anniversary of the bombings was arraigned Wednesday. He's being held on $100,000 bail.

    April 19, 2014

  • Denne, Williams & Stanton Records hearing scheduled

    A Cambria County judge will consider complaints filed by two Johnstown residents seeking documents related to the city’s municipal waste water operation at hearing at the end of this month.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sen. Bob Casey Casey targets heroin

    The heroin trade has brought addiction, death, violence and theft to Johnstown and other Pennsylvania communities.
    Figuring out how to deal with those issues is difficult for local, state and federal officials.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drive-in to open with high-tech projector

    Drive-in movie theaters and the term “state of the art” seldom share the same sentence.
    But that will soon be the case for the Silver Drive-In, it’s owner said. The Scalp Avenue site, often marketed as a nostalgic summer night escape, soon will boast a high-end projector capable of displaying the latest and greatest blockbusters in razor sharp high-definition, theater owner Rick Rosco said.

    April 18, 2014

  • Sheetz work underway

    Earthmoving is underway at Richland Town Centre for a nearly 6,500-square-foot Sheetz store.
    And the real estate broker marketing the land says a 3,000-square-foot retail building will be built next door.

    April 18, 2014

  • Smith, Shakir Mosi Police seize heroin, money in Prospect

    Johnstown police reported that several bricks of heroin, along with $4,000 in cash and a handgun, were discovered in the city's Prospect neighborhood around 4 a.m. Friday. An arrest warrant has been issued for the man be­lieved to be the owner or renter of the two homes raided.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Comedy night targets serious problem

    Animal advocates are using comedy to take aim at a serious problem.
    The third annual Funny Fundraiser to benefit the Nardecchia Spay and Neuter Fund will be held at 8 p.m. May 16 at Ace’s, 316 Chestnut St. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.

    April 18, 2014

  • Local briefs 4/19/2014

    April 18, 2014


Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos

Photo Slideshow

House Ads