PA moves toward privatization of management for lottery
On Jan. 12, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue announced that it had awarded a 20-year private management contract to Camelot Global Services PA, LLC.
According to spokesperson Jay Pagni, the commonwealth is looking for the lottery to turn in a more stable form of revenue as the senior population increases. Pagni says seniors will make up 25 percent of the state’s population.
Due to this growing demand, Pagni stressed the need for people to retain access to programs such as rent rebates and low-cost prescriptions.
Pagni also said the commonwealth would still own the lottery, and that the foreign-owned company would only be hired in a manager capacity in order to reduce costs of running the lottery.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), one of the largest labor unions in the nation, is suing to block the deal.
The director of the union’s grievance and arbitration department Kristie Wolf-Maloney said, “Disappointed is an understatement,” when discussing its reaction to the proposed deal.
AFSCME represents 176 employees of the lottery, and is concerned that they might lose their jobs.
While it is still unclear whether these employees will continue to hold their jobs, there is also another concern that AFSCME has, regarding the revenue going to senior programs.
Contrary to what Pagni had said about the increase in revenue, the union believes there will be a $1.24 billion loss, citing the current private management agreement, which will keep funding for programs at 27 percent, instead of the 30 percent that it was scheduled to be by 2015.
The overall reason for the proposed cancellation of the funding percentage for senior programs currently remains unclear, but is set to affect almost two million Pennsylvania residents above the age of 65, including those who live in senior living communities such as Elmcroft of Shippensburg, The Cottages of Shippensburg and Green Ridge Village in Newville.