A.G. Puts Governor’s Lottery Plan On Hold

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The state's new attorney general handed the governor a setback Thursday. Kathleen Kane says the contract to privatize the Pennsylvania Lottery is illegal.

A lot of people expected new Attorney General Kathleen Kane, a Democrat, to butt heads with Governor Tom Corbett, a Republican. Only a few weeks since she took the job, that has begun.

The Scranton native said the governor's plan to sell the lottery to a British company is unconstitutional and Kane says she's only following the law.

Governor Corbett wants to hand over control to British company, Camelot Global Services.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane says not so fast.

"Be assured this finding makes no determination behind policy or the wisdom of the business decision.  Only the legality of the contract,” said Kane.

The governor says selling the lottery to a British company and having it manage the sales of all these tickets will make the lottery more profitable for older Pennsylvanians, but the A.G. says the way the governor is going about all this is illegal.

"If we do not grow this lottery, we will have to shrink our services to seniors,” said Corbett last month.

"It is disingenuous to put the cart before the horse, to promise money to people in need based upon a contract without making sure the contract is legal and then blaming the messenger when the contract is determined illegal,” said Kane.

Kane said this plan for the lottery would have to go through the legislature. She said it opens up the potential for types of gambling not allowed under the law.

Some lottery players we talked with at a supermarket in Moosic are glad Kane's fighting back against Corbett's plan.

"I think it's terrible.  Why should he want to do that?"

"That's crazy,” said Joseph Kerrigan of Moosic.  “We have to keep stuff here.  We're losing enough. I'm totally against that."

Others are open to his idea if it really will make more money for seniors.

"If it's true then I'd probably agree with him,” said Bill Gondela of Scranton.

But what if the sale did go through to that British company, would people still buy these tickets?

"Oh yeah, sure will,” said Louise Durkin of Avoca. “I'll always buy the tickets."