HARRISBURG - The Corbett administration said Friday that expanding Pennsylvania Lottery gambling to keno and online games would be key ways to produce more revenue from the $3.5 billion lottery system that funds programs for the elderly.
The administration made the statement as part of an update on its talks with companies about privatizing the management of the $3.5 billion lottery system under a 20-year agreement.
Asked about it Friday, Gov. Corbett would say only that the ideas were "on the table."
Corbett's administration says it has the legal authority to allow keno and online games without the legislature's approval. Senate lawyers have said they disagree.
Bidders will have to say how much profit they will promise the state each year. However, the Corbett administration continues to keep secret the names of the companies with which it is talking. Other states, including Indiana and New Jersey, have shown no need to keep such secrets while exploring private lottery-management contracts.
The move to privatize is being opposed by Democrats and the state's largest employee union, who question why it is appropriate to pay a private company to run the lottery when the state employees who do it now are producing increased sales and are capable of overseeing the expansion of lottery gambling. Lottery sales increased during the last fiscal year by 8.5 percent.
Corbett said Friday that privatization would occur only if the state could guarantee itself more money.
In addition to online gambling and allowing keno terminals in bars or restaurants, other options to expand gambling could include online ticket sales and an aggressive new search to add more lottery retailers.