Health - May 3, 2013

AG Kane: Lottery deal must have legislative approval

The deal to privatize the state lottery is expected to hit Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s desk any day now.  The contract was revised after Kane rejected it in February; ruling that it violated parts of the state constitution.  The state had inked a deal with Camelot Global Services, a British company, to take over the state lottery system.  Most recently, though, Kane has noted that in order to approve the new deal, the legislature would also have to vote on it and change gaming rules.  Kane said “she had seen no sign that the legislature would be given such a role;” and that she will make no decision on the deal until it hits her desk.  The Corbett administration had indicated that the contract would be sent over sometime the first week in May; and this week a Corbett aide said details were still being revised and they did not have a specific submission date.  The current agreement with Camelot expires on June 30.

Pa. slots revenue leveling off

April saw the continued steady decline of slots revenue in Pennsylvania.  For the fifth month in a row revenue from the 11 casinos in the state was down; overall there was a four percent decline from this time last year.  Revenue totals last month were $205.2 million; which totals about $9 million less than last April.  Valley Forge Casino, which opened in March 2012, was the only casino with significant growth of 34% from last year at this time.  Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh and Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem also saw growth but both at less than one percent.  Pennsylvania’s gambling market has grown to be second only to Las Vegas since the first casino opened in 2006.  The state uses casino revenue to fund the state budget, schools and local governments among other things.  And while slots may be leveling off, revenue from table games, introduced in 2010, continues to increase.  March was a record month for table games in gross revenue with a total of $67.5 million; a nine percent increase from March 2012.