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Camelot Extends Pennsylvania Lottery Bid Again

Camelot Global Services LLC of Britain has extended its bid to privatize the Pennsylvania lottery to March 18 while Gov. Tom Corbett's administration considers appealing the denial of a 20-year, $35 billion agreement.

Camelot's most recent bid extension expired at noon Friday. The new deadline is two days past the deadline for Corbett to appeal Attorney General Kathleen Kane's verdict that the deal was unconstitutional.

"This extension allows both parties to continue considering strategic next steps in an effort to secure and maximize long-term lottery funding for seniors programs," Department of Revenue press officer Elizabeth Brassell said Monday in a statement.

Pennsylvania, which began its lottery in 1972, earmarks all its lottery proceeds for elderly related programs.

Kane said Feb. 14 that the contract itself, and the expansion of lottery to online games and keno, need legislative approval under the Lottery Act of 1971. Kane, who took office on Jan. 15, also objected to a contract provision allowing Camelot to be indemnified for "indirect expenses."

Corbett is a Republican, Kane a Democrat. Corbett has also proposed selling Pennsylvania's state-run liquor stores.

State Treasurer Rob McCord, also a Democrat, opposes the Camelot deal. In addition, union employees and some Democratic lawmakers have challenged the deal in the Commonwealth Court.

Camelot, whose owner is the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, one of Canada's largest pension funds, operates Britain's national lottery.

Moody's Investors Service rates the state's general obligation bonds Aa2, while Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's assign AA-plus and AA ratings, respectively.

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