McCord blasts consultant fees on stalled lottery contract
HARRISBURG — Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s stalled effort to privatize the state lottery is a “gross waste of money,” draining senior programs of millions of dollars for consultants and lawyers, Treasurer Rob McCord said on Monday.
McCord, a candidate for governor in a crowded Democratic field, said Corbett’s effort to bring in British firm Camelot Global Services to run the lottery has cost $3.4 million so far.
Corbett, 64, of Shaler is expected to seek a second term but he has not formally announced it.
Privatizing the lottery would “provide predictable long-stream revenue for seniors,” said Corbett’s spokesman Jay Pagni. Over the next 30 years, the privatization effort would produce more than $30 billion, Pagni said.
“The longer this drags on, the higher the consulting will be,” McCord said.
Democratic Attorney General Kathleen Kane shot down Corbett’s plan in February, saying the electronic terminal games it relied on first need to be approved by the Legislature. There’s been no substantial legislative effort to legalize keno, a bingo-style game. Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware County, is eyeing keno for a different purpose: a possible means of paying for a freeze on seniors’ real estate taxes.
Camelot and the Corbett administration face a decision on Tuesday on whether to again extend Camelot’s bid to run the lottery. There was no decision to announce on Monday night, Pagni said.
As treasurer, McCord said he can’t stop payment. But he called on Corbett to call off the effort.
The $3.4 million paid to date on lottery privatization includes $2.36 million to consultant DLA Piper, and $116,000 to the Blank Rome law firm, McCord said. A privatization consultant, Greenhill, previously was paid $1 million, according to McCord. Former Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell is a Greenhill partner.
Camelot will pay all of that money under a formalized contract agreement, Pagni said.
Sen. Mike Stack, D-Philadelphia, another gubernatorial candidate, also has blasted the privatization effort.
Brad Bumsted is the state Capitol reporter for Trib Total Media. Reach Bumsted at 717-787-1405 or [email protected].