Wednesday, October 30, 2013

An endless shining moment for Camelot in Pennsylvania

Tom Corbett still dreams Camelot dreams in his quest to privatize the already very profitable Pennsylvania lottery. This, despite the fact that the non-privatized lottery enjoys record breaking profits.
The administration announced Tuesday that United Kingdom-based Camelot Global Services has agreed for an 11th time to extend its bid’s expiration date, which was set to expire today. It now is good through Dec. 31.
Camelot, the lone company to submit a bid, committed to generating $34.6 billion in profits to fund lottery-funded programs for senior citizens over the next 20 years. It backed up that promise with a $200 million fund to cover any shortfall if it fails to meet annual profit commitments provided the contract’s terms and conditions don’t change.
The governor’s staff has been trying to rework the proposed contract with Camelot over the past eight months to address concerns raised by Attorney General Kathleen Kane when she rejected the initial contract in February.
Who benefits from this quest? 'Consultants':

Since April, the cost of consultants' fees have risen by about $1.5 million, to nearly $3.5 million. But with the extension, they could go as high as $4.3 million, according to information provided by the state Department of Revenue, which oversees the lottery.
Those funds will come out of the Lottery Fund unless the contract is awarded to Camelot and then it would cover those costs.
The consultants seem to be Greenhill Partners, for which former Democratic Governor Ed Rendell is a senior advisor.

Who loses? Workers, senior citizens and taxpayers:
The privatization of the lottery's management would result in the loss of state jobs – and all the benefits that go with them – for about 170 lottery employees.

This week, state Treasurer Rob McCord called on Corbett to put an end to this exploration and let the in-house lottery management continue to operate as is without an outside manager. He complained that the $3.4 million in consultant fees that Treasury paid to date out of the Lottery Fund is money that could have gone to buy prescriptions, meals and transportation service for senior citizens.

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