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Jackpot! Session begins with bang

Published by Tim McNulty on .

The Corbett administration welcomes the state legislature back to work today by surprisingly awarding a 20-year lottery privatization contract to a British firm. The announcement came late Friday, and the Senate has a hearing today. Corbett staffers are due to meet with reporters this afternoon. From Laura Olson:

In an end-of-the-workday email to lottery workers, Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser said the contract with Camelot Global Services PA LLC is expected to be given final reviews and signed next week.

"We're confident that by combining one of the nation's best lotteries with one of the best private-sector lottery industry experts in the world, we'll end up with a win-win proposition to grow and protect Lottery profits for decades to come," Mr. Meuser wrote.

In a brief statement Friday evening, the Corbett administration said issuing the award notice allows state officials "to disclose contractual and procurement details" about the management contract during a Senate hearing scheduled for Monday morning.

If you haven't read it yet, check out Pittsburgh City Paper's study of just how much keno games (which are part of the privatization plan) would expand gambling in the state.

Gov. Corbett has some of the worst midterm poll numbers in the country, but he could turn things around by 2014 writes Jim O'Toole:

While it's impossible to know for sure -- the current recovery could be derailed by Washington budget brinkmanship or other outside factors -- it seems more possible that by 2014, Mr. Corbett will join the string of Pennsylvania incumbents boosted by an economic tailwind.

If so, that would be the second election in a row in which the economy, in contrasting ways, boosted Mr. Corbett's political fortunes. In 2010, it was a bad economy that aided his candidacy, as he rode the wave of discontent that boosted GOP candidates all over the country.

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