Costa, Blake to Gov: Let Lottery Implement AFSCME Approach to Raise Profit

Harrisburg, February 11, 2013 – State Sens. Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) and John Blake (D- Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) said that instead of outsourcing the Pennsylvania Lottery’s operations to a U.K. company, Camelot Global Services, the governor should allow the Lottery to implement AFSCME’s recommendations to raise new revenue.

“Instead of privatizing the management of the Pennsylvania Lottery, the governor should instruct the Lottery to move on many of the recommendations made in the AFSCME report so that hundreds of millions in new revenue can be generated,” Costa, the Senate Democratic Leader, said. “If current Lottery employees were given the latitude that is called for in the PMA with Camelot, they would clearly equal or exceed the revenue projections of the proposed contractor.”

“Instead of privatizing lottery operations without the consultation of lawmakers, we should be using our current, dedicated and capable Pennsylvania employees to grow the Lottery and generate more revenue to aid our seniors,” Blake said.

Blake, who serves as the Democratic Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, said that it would make more sense to build on the strengths of a successful system and a successful Lottery workforce rather than turning the entire operation over to a private, for-profit enterprise.

“I see no reason why we need to privatize the Lottery using a foreign concern when we can implement many of the recommendations made in the AFSCME report to boost revenue,” Blake said. “The governor should reconsider the decision on outright privatization and instead build on our successful system by expanding its discretion and simply augmenting its operations with any needed outside marketing or managerial experience.”

The recommendations made by AFSCME were contained in a counterproposal that the union generated following the governor’s decision to privatize the Lottery using a Private Management Agreement (PMA). AFSCME indicated that it could generate $1.5 billion more in lottery profit.

A recent Franklin and Marshall survey indicated sixty-four percent of registered voters who were asked oppose privatization of the Pa Lottery.

“The AFSCME proposal contains recommendations that will boost revenue, institute more internal controls and provide for greater accountability. We need to give our Lottery and our workers a chance to create more revenue and expand before we send the management of our system overseas,” Costa said.