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Politics & Government

Senate Dems Urge Caution in PA Lottery Debate

As state lawmakers consider taking a legislative approach to making the Pennsylvania Lottery more profitable, Senate Democrats are sounding warnings that any changes shouldn’t be too drastic.

The Corbett administration had pursued a deal with a British firm to take over management of the lottery.

The same now-discarded contract would have also expanded the lottery’s offerings to include keno terminals in restaurants and online gaming.

Senate Democrats say they’re opposed to privatization, but they’re not committing to a position on the fast-paced keno drawings.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa says his caucus wants to see any anticipated extra revenue stay in programs benefitting older Pennsylvanians, as is now the case with lottery profits.

"…That that revenue make its way into the lottery program and disseminated into the lottery fund and into lottery programs," Costa said.

Last month, the administration dropped a private firm’s bid on managing the lottery.

It happened shortly after lawmakers began considering legislation to pave the way for its privatization.

Senate Republicans expect to hold a hearing on the issue in the coming months.