Administration Takes First Step Toward Privatizing PA Lottery

The state has issued a “Request for Qualifications” to pursue a private management agreement for the Pennsylvania Lottery.  It’s the first step toward privatizing one of the nation’s oldest and biggest state lotteries.  The next step would be to accept bids from qualified companies. 

“This initiative is simply part of my administrations’ efforts to tap private sector innovation to make state government work more efficiently and effective, which is precisely what taxpayers expect,” Governor Tom Corbett said in a written statement. 

The Pennsylvania Lottery would not be sold; rather it would be run by a private management firm in hopes of maximizing the revenues that are used to fund programs and services for older adults in the state. 

The Pennsylvania Lottery just celebrated its 40th anniversary last month, and has generated $21.5-billion dollars for older Pennsylvanians since its inception.  However the Lottery’s profits have only grown by an average of 0.3% a year of late, and a recent study indicates that seniors will compose 22.5% of the state’s total population by 2030. 

The state Department of Revenue oversees the lottery, and Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser says the Lottery’s ability to grow cash flow for senior programs has become uncertain.

However House Democrats have their reservations.  Democratic Leader Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny) says the current system isn’t broken, and fears that any changes could hurt the thousands of seniors who rely on Lottery-funded health and safety programs.