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Lawmakers, Midstaters react to lottery privatization - abc27 WHTM

Lawmakers, Midstaters react to lottery privatization

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

The Pennsylvania Lottery is going private. Governor Corbett awarded a contract to a British company, Camelot, a deal potentially worth $34 billion.

Camelot may have hit the jackpot, but many lawmakers and Midstaters said they are not feeling very lucky about privatizing the lottery.

Midstaters may get to choose their lucky numbers, but lawmakers did not get to choose whether the PA lottery should be privatized. Corbett awarded the contract himself.

"He showed an utter lack of respect for the process by signing this agreement late Friday afternoon," Senator Rob Teplitz said.

But the biggest problem lawmakers and Midstaters said they have is all the unanswered questions. Like what impact will privatization have on senior citizen services? And what about the ticket sales?

"We really don't know what impact it will have because none of the plans have been made public as of yet," said Andrew Simmers, and employee at Rumburger's Gulf convenience store.

Simmers was also concerned about talk of online gambling.

"Which could cut back a lot of money that establishments like this make off of the lottery," Simmers said.

The union that represents lotto workers is not happy about the move, either.

"To say that we're disappointed is an understatement," said Kristie Wolf-Maloney, Director of Grievance and Arbitration for AFSCME Council 13. "176 potential employees who could lose their jobs."

Camelot claimed they will keep as many jobs as possible. But the fact that a foreign company is in charge has some Midstaters worried.

"Did we fight a war in 1776 to kick those people out from this country?" said Ben Stuart of Camp Hill. "We are back in a situation where they're controlling billions of our dollars."

Although privatizing the lottery had many Midstaters scratching their heads, they were still itching to scratch a ticket.

"Yeah, I'll keep playing," said Sam Ware of Harrisburg. "They'll let me hit sooner or later."

ABC27 News contacted Governor Corbett's office for comment, but calls were not returned.

There is a Senate hearing on privatizing the lottery scheduled for Monday.

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