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Public Hearing on Lottery Foreign Take Over - Still More Questions Than Answers

HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In the wake of today's only public vetting of the Corbett administration's proposed giveaway of the PA Lottery, AFSCME Council 13 urged lawmakers to convene more hearings and pressed the administration to answer simple questions.

"This was a good start and, finally, the administration showed up and addressed the public. There are still more questions and our seniors deserve answers," Fillman said after a Senate Finance Committee hearing on the proposed outsourcing of lottery management to U.K.-based Camelot Global Services.

Fillman reminded lawmakers that Pennsylvania's employees could outperform Camelot by anywhere from 10 percent to 30 percent.

"There is not a thing that Camelot can do or deliver that we cannot provide today, right now," Fillman said. "And our members, obviously, do not have a profit motive. Every $1 that goes overseas to Camelot comes at the expense of our seniors."

Fillman testified that AFSCME analysis of Camelot's proposal found three critical points that should prompt them to consider legislative action to prevent the deal from being finalized. Those key points include:

Public employees can manage Keno and online games, a loyalty program and subscription service, all elements of the Camelot deal, in-house at less cost.

Camelot's annual "guaranteed" profits to the lottery are based on the current 27% minimum fund requirement for senior programs.  However, that state mandated requirement returns to the standard 30% minimum in 2015.  A permanent reduction to 27% would be a loss of $1.24 billion to senior programs over 20 years.  "It is inconceivable that lawmakers would change state law to set the minimum funding level at an all-time low," Fillman said. "We plan on working with lawmakers to prevent that from happening. Our seniors deserve more."

Finally, based on a true dollar-for-dollar comparison, Camelot's 'fiscal guarantee' is actually about two-thirds LESS of a guarantee than already exits.

"We have one of the best run and most profitable lottery systems in the nation. It makes no sense whatsoever to siphon off profits for a foreign-based company's bottom line," Fillman said. "This is far from over."

AFSCME has joined with seven Democratic lawmakers to file a lawsuit barring the outsourcing of the lottery.


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