July 3, 2014 |
EVERY CHRISTMAS season, an ebullient guy in a sweater was shown in a Pennsylvania Lottery TV commercial throwing open his window and taking in the happy sight in the street below. Snow is falling, carolers singing, everybody looking eager for the coming holiday. And what would be Christmas without a Pennsylvania lottery ticket as a gift? The man called Joe comes out of his house and, acting like Ebenezer Scrooge after his conversion, hurries to Rita's coffee stand and other businesses, handing out the lottery tickets to thrilled recipients.
January 27, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - With Pennsylvania's budget forecast gloomy, the legislature looks to be placing its bets on gambling. As budget discussions unfold over the next few months, it is widely expected that the GOP-controlled House and Senate, along with the Corbett administration, will seriously consider a proposal to expand lottery gambling and, possibly, one to legalize online gambling. Both measures could mean hundreds of millions in annual tax revenue at a time when the state is in the red. The administration says Pennsylvania could be facing at least a $1.2 billion budget gap for the fiscal year that begins July 1. But the proposals are also bound to stir anew concerns that Pennsylvania is moving at breakneck speed to offer more options to gamble, which many believe will increase addiction and the social ills that go with it. Gov. Corbett, for instance, signed a law late last year allowing small games of chance - including pull-tab games and raffles - in bars and restaurants.
December 13, 2013 |
K ATHLEEN KANE , Pennsylvania's attorney general since January, is now considering a run for higher elected office. The Scranton native is not planning to enter the crowded 2014 Democratic primary election for governor, as many speculated. Instead, Kane is eyeing a 2016 run for the U.S. Senate against Pat Toomey , a Lehigh Valley Republican. Three sources close to Kane confirmed that she is very interested in a 2016 Senate run. "I think she sees it as a good opportunity," one of the sources said.
October 31, 2013 |
HARRISBURG Gov. Corbett will keep alive his bid to privatize the management of the Pennsylvania Lottery at least until the end of the year. The administration announced Tuesday that it would extend London-based Camelot Global Services' bid until Dec. 31, giving the governor until then to salvage the deal. Corbett's privatization plan was thwarted in February by Attorney General Kathleen Kane, whose office reviewed the contract and declared parts of it violated the state constitution.
October 30, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - State Treasurer Rob McCord called on Gov. Corbett on Monday to scrap his bid to privatize management of the Pennsylvania Lottery, arguing that the administration has already spent almost $3.5 million on legal fees and consultants on a "misguided" effort. That number is bound to rise if the administration continues its quest to bring in the British firm Camelot Global Services to run the lottery, which helps fund programs for senior citizens, said McCord, a Democrat seeking to challenge Corbett in next year's election.
August 1, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - The Corbett administration's deal with a British firm to run the Pennsylvania Lottery will remain alive - at least for another month. Administration officials said Tuesday that Camelot Global Services had agreed to extend through Aug. 30 its bid to manage the lottery. Corbett's office has sought a series of extensions since state Attorney General Kathleen Kane ruled in February that the lottery deal violated the state constitution. Among other things, Kane said, lawyers on her staff had determined that the contract with Camelot, which runs Britain's national lottery, usurped the authority of the legislature to regulate and manage the Pennsylvania Lottery.
June 25, 2013 |
MEET GARY PATEL, the most popular guy in Point Breeze. Owner of Federal Beer. Father of twin babies. Good dude. Also, Patel is about to bank a six-figure bonus after a Pennsylvania Lottery employee yesterday covertly verified that the $131.5 million winning Powerball ticket was bought at his store at 15th and Federal. The jackpot winner hasn't come forward yet, but the whole neighborhood seemed to have a spring in its step yesterday after the rain subsided and the TV news vans started rolling in, looking for Gary.
June 25, 2013 |
In the eight years that Gary Patel has been selling lottery tickets at his Point Breeze beer shop, no one had ever hit the big time. In fact, no one who ever played the Daily Number or the Cash 5 or even a lowly scratch-off ticket at Federal Beer had ever won anything above $10,000. Then, on Sunday, a representative from the Pennsylvania Lottery stopped by to perform what he called a routine check on Patel's lottery machine. And an hour later, Patel was fielding call after call from local news outlets: His shop on the corner of 15th and Federal Streets had sold the winning Powerball ticket, worth $131.5 million.
May 3, 2013 |
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane said Wednesday that she expected to receive the Corbett administration's revised contract to privatize the Pennsylvania Lottery any day now - but signaled that she likely will not approve the proposal unless the legislature gets to sign off. "They would have to vote on it just like any other privatization deal, and also, they would have to change the gaming rules," Kane said. She added that she had seen no sign that the legislature would be given such a role.
March 28, 2013 |
More jobs! More money! So say the people backing Gov. Corbett's plans to turn the Pennsylvania Lottery and the State Store system over to private operators. As I noted in this space in January, the lottery-sale plan - currently on hiatus - is designed so the promised jobs and revenue are added only if private managers persuade Pennsylvanians to bet more, through new games like keno (bingo, sort of) in new locations like bars and restaurants. As the pro-privatization Commonwealth Foundation said in a report last week, State Store opponents promise that: "ending the state-run monopoly will create thousands of additional jobs across the state and unleash millions of dollars in new business investment.