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Politics & Government

House Democrats Cry Foul on Lottery Profit Characterization

State House Democrats claim the Corbett administration isn't making fair comparisons in the push to lease the Pennsylvania Lottery to a British company.

The administration was unimpressed the Pennsylvania Lottery's profit report for 2013 showed a less than one percent growth over the year prior.

Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser noted that under a privatization contract (still being tinkered with since the state attorney general rejected the contract) the state could expect a 9 percent annual profit growth.

Rep. Joe Markosek (D-Allegheny) said such a statement is misleading. The ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee said the contract assumes the lottery will expand its offerings to include keno drawings.

Not only would such a move require the Legislature's approval, Markosek argues, such games could be introduced in the publicly managed lottery.

"With the state employees operating in a very efficient manner, the revenue would be enhanced perhaps even more with the current situation," Markosek said.

He added that last year's lottery profit comes in spite of expenses associated with the privatization push, which was staunchly opposed by Democrats in the Legislature.

The state owes roughly $3.5 million to consultants who worked on a contract to lease the lottery to British firm Camelot Global Services.