Pennsylvania requests proposals to operate state lottery

4 April 2012

The Republican governor for the US state of Pennsylvania has announced that his office is seeking proposals from private companies interested in taking over the day-to-day operations of the eastern state’s lottery.

Tom Corbett was elected in 2010 and revealed that his office has issued a Request for Qualifications and is now accepting proposals from anyone interested in running the nation’s sixth largest lottery in an attempt to maximise returns and meet the rising demand for services from the state's growing elderly population.

According to a report from the Bloomberg news service, the move was immediately opposed by Democrats and the state's largest employee union and could lead to an expansion in lottery gambling such as the addition of online ticket sales, keno terminals in bars or restaurants and a search for retailers.

The 15-page Request for Qualification is set to run for the next 30 days and laid out that ‘the highest responsible commitments for maximising cashflow’ would be a major factor in who will wins the contract to operate the Pennsylvania Lottery.

“This initiative is simply part of my administration's efforts to tap private sector innovation to make state government work more efficiently and effectively, which is precisely what taxpayers expect,” read a statement from 62-year-old Corbett.

“Our state's fast-growing population of older adults means time is not on our side and we need to maximise funding for senior programmes and services in a way that does not ask taxpayers to dig any deeper into their pockets.”

The 40-year-old Pennsylvania Lottery is currently run by the state’s Department of Revenue with profits set aside to benefit programmes for the elderly including transit, rent and property tax rebates, prescription drug assistance, senior centers and long-term care services. Corbett stated that in accordance with federal guidelines, his proposal would see the state maintain ownership of the Pennsylvania Lottery and remain in charge of controlling, inspection and auditing duties with a private firm in charge of managing daily operations.