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Privatize Pa. Lottery? Voters Say No

Could privatizing the lottery mean fewer people will play?

Pennsylvanians do not want their lottery to be privatized, as Gov. Tom Corbett is proposing, according to a new Franklin & Marshall College Poll.

The poll found that 47 percent of those polled strongly opposed the privatization with 17 somewhat opposing it. Only 7 percent were strongly in favor with 11 percent being somewhat in favor of the move.

Most people polled, 75 percent, said they would play the lottery about the same amount as they do now if it were privatized, but a not insignificant number of people, 19 said they would play less frequently.

The Franklin & Marshall College Poll interviewed 622 Pennsylvania voters between January 29 and February 3. The margin of error is reported as plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

A recent editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer pointed out that although lotteries as natural candidates for privatization that it is hard to make the decision with so little input from the public.

What do you think? Should the Pennsylvania Lottery be privatized? Share your opinions in the comments area below.

The American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, filed a lawsuit to stop the privatization. Some state lawmakers, lottery employees and others joined in the lawsuit. Other lawmakers, including state Rep. Mark Painter (D-Montgomery) have signed a friend of the court, or amicus brief, according to a release from Painter’s office.

"It was really a shock for me as a newly elected legislator," said Painter in the news release. "The governor took it upon himself to sign away control of the lottery without even consulting with those who represent the people who will be most affected."

The lawsuit claims that the governor does not have the authority to privatize the lottery without approval from the legislature.

anthony jones February 10, 2013 at 05:45 PM
NO WAY! I was a Lottery agent for 30 years and in thoes 30 years only got paid 5% of my sales I had to give it up I could not pay anyone enough to run the machine. Woul anyone else out there work for someone for 30 years and never get a raise????? Would our government work for 30 years without a raise??? If it is sold to private investors who is to say anyone will get paid even the winners!
anthony jones February 10, 2013 at 05:49 PM
To thoes of you who recommend licensing! Agents DO pay the State Licensing fees!
Kim February 10, 2013 at 05:59 PM
Most of you people are union loving, Corbett hating people who let your ideology blind you to the facts! Did you also think the president should have had a vote before jamming through healthcare....no way...it never would have passed! We are still waiting to learn what's REALLY in it. You act like the politics aren't played on BOTH sides. Chin, they don't want to cut spending and have less government. They really don't care about waste either! They are most likely union people who don't want their good deal taken away.
john February 10, 2013 at 06:23 PM
The patient protection and affordable care act ( Obama care) was passed by the federal legislature, the system set up by something you might have heard about at some time when you were out of your cave-it's called the constitution- you know- the one you think only applies to what you want!
john February 10, 2013 at 06:23 PM
The patient protection and affordable care act ( Obama care) was passed by the federal legislature, the system set up by something you might have heard about at some time when you were out of your cave-it's called the constitution- you know- the one you think only applies to what you want!
Kim February 10, 2013 at 06:31 PM
John, Drew mentioned that the issue should be put on the ballot. I made the comparison to Obamacare, which went against the will of "the people". Try to follow along, before you put your foot in your mouth ...whoops...too late!
bigben February 10, 2013 at 06:52 PM
that's the point of privatizing. If they want to make a profit, they have to hire people to sell the tickets, pay outlets to house their machines, AND payout jackpots. The only thing that they can do to really screw with the middlemen IS to sell lottery tickets online. But that would probably eliminate a lot of people who don't have ready access to internet
Star Thrower February 10, 2013 at 07:12 PM
What John is forgetting is the complete mockery BO has made of the constitution - Not one single member of congress wrote a single line, or even read the 2000-plus page document .. doesn't anyone remember Pelosi saying we have to pass it before we know what's in it?
john February 10, 2013 at 07:38 PM
We did have a ballot Kim, it was called the election. You lost! You lost seats in the house! You lost seats in the senate! You lost by a wide margin. "The people" did speak, just not enough people who agree with you. In case you didn't read that part of the constitution, we don't have a national ballot on specific issues, just on those we elect to to make them-representative democracy. Don't like that, the change who you elect. Oh, wait, you just tried that and it didn't workout o well for you did it? Hurts, doesn't it?
Kim February 10, 2013 at 07:53 PM
John, you re obviously too THICK to get the point I was making. The more you try to make me look like a fool, the more foolish YOU look. Let it go! In regard to the election, WE ALL LOST! You are just too ignorant to realize it! Hate to tell you, but I am a 1%er...and I earned it through hard work and perseverance. I was, personally,going to be just fine no matter how the election turned out. Don't worry about me! I worry about the people who were too foolish to realize they were swindled. I have to give Obama and his team credit...they are the best. He had you all believing that NO ONE could have done better! What losers you are to believe that malarkey ( Uncle Joe's word...ha ha)! I have a beautiful home, nice car, no debt, access to the best healthcare....I know this is hard to believe in today's world, but I was really worried for the people who are getting screwed by Obama...just too ignorant to realize it!
Gamecock fan February 10, 2013 at 08:51 PM
Kim: You truly sound like an arrogant, narcissitic, unsympathetic human being. Whatever your beliefs why do you think you have the right to belittle people instead of just sharing ideas, i.e. point/counterpoint. Certainly these items (lottery privatization and liquour store issue) should be placed on the ballot and not be determined by a politician who has a 20% approval rating in his own state. It is people like you who give the 1% ers a bad name. When you have seen your final days let me know what your $$$$$ does for you on your judgement day.
Nazaretti February 10, 2013 at 09:04 PM
People...please be more understanding...she has an obsession with Barry...intrusive thoughts, dreams, the whole nine yards...we think she will grow out of it, probably around 2016.
Sine Quanon February 10, 2013 at 09:27 PM
the lottery is for suckers. the people who play can least afford it . if you look at the odds, it's a fools game. same for casino's. i welcome any move that gets the state out of the vice business...they control liquor and gamling and what's next....prositituion? the asians in chinatown phila. didn't want a casino anywhere near them because it breaks up families and causes financial chaos. i see people on food stamps buying stacks of number and lottery tickets...government wants to keep them poor. i have witnessed state stores sell booze to drunks. i don't want my tax dollars a part of that crap. sell the systems and let them pay taxes so taxpayers don't have to pay for pensions, benefits and salaries for people who are aldready overpaid in these jobs.
Kim February 10, 2013 at 10:16 PM
Man up men! You boys can't handle a little lady like me. You attack and when I have the nerve to bite back you cry to each other....wah wah! :( I'm moving on! You can all relax now....scary lady going away! Ha ha ha
Nazaretti February 10, 2013 at 11:35 PM
Good points, SQN. The lottery is a tax on stupidity, and stupid people have enough problems already.
Chin February 10, 2013 at 11:56 PM
Good post, Sine. I'll play the lottery once in a while just for fun and usually only games with the best odds. Who doesn't like games of chance? They have been popular at carnivals for ages.
JEFFREY February 11, 2013 at 02:18 AM
I believe that this governor is trying to get even with democrates whether it's in the best interest of the people. For one thing, the Pennsylvania lottery is one of the most successful lotteries in the country. You don't privatize something that is bringing in so much money. He hates any program that affords any assistance to senior citizens, including the lottery and social security. He has no place in our government, mostly due to he is not making decisions in the best interest in Pennsylvanians.
JEFFREY February 11, 2013 at 02:22 AM
Forget who he reminds you of. It's has nothing to do with this. What does have to do with this is that Governor Corbett has his own agenda and it does not align with the majority of Pennsylvanians. He seems to be doing whatever he can to get even with the Democrats and senior citizens. He is trying to get rid of anything that represents aid to senior citizens, from the benefits of the PA Lottery to Social Security cutbacks. He is such an ass hole. Got to be a ONE term governor.
JEFFREY February 11, 2013 at 02:31 AM
Drew, I think you're on to something here. Good idea.
JEFFREY February 11, 2013 at 02:37 AM
Also, he was involved as Attorney General when Sandusky's lifestyle first came to light and did not investigate the charges enough, maybe trying to let the charges go due to Sandusky's involvement with Penn State. Remember, Corbett was and still is on the Board at Penn State. He should be on trial as well as the other executives of Penn State. He is one shady character.
JEFFREY February 11, 2013 at 02:49 AM
Remember, the Pennsylvania Lottery is among the most successful lotteries in the country. Corbett wants to get rid of this program operated by the state mainly because the lottery benefits mostly senior citizens and the majority are democrats and he will do anything he can to piss off his adversaries. He could care less about his constituents. Down with Corbett.
JEFFREY February 11, 2013 at 03:14 AM
I believe that this governor is trying to get even with democrates whether it's in the best interest of the people or not. For one thing, the Pennsylvania lottery is one of the most successful lotteries in the country. You don't privatize something that is bringing in so much money. He hates any program that affords any assistance to senior citizens, including the lottery and social security. He has no place in our government, mostly due to he is not making decisions in the best interest in Pennsylvanians.
JEFFREY February 11, 2013 at 03:18 AM
He needs to worry about much more than his back yard. He is on the hotseat for sencond term for all the shenanigans he has tried to pull. He is one of Pennsylvanias worst governor in history. I have voted for many republicans in my day, but Corbett is downright dangerous to Pennsylvanians. Get rid of him after this term or else he'll try to destroy more of what Pennsylvania is famous for - helping it's citizens.
JEFFREY February 11, 2013 at 03:22 AM
Yes, but not the profits. They will no longer go to the people it was intended for.
JEFFREY February 11, 2013 at 03:30 AM
Kim, my dear Kim, I hope you wake up soon. You are having a nightmare. O'bama did have it passed by the legislators. I take it you may have been out of the country all that time that congress battled over it. You don't know what's in it because you don't want to. I'm not here to bash your thoughts or how you feel about the politics going on, but to show you what you just said was highly "inaccurate" and without merit. I'm glad to hear you don't want waste either, because the Pennsylvania Lottery is one of the most successful lotteries in the country. Now we don't really want to get rid of that, do we? I didn't think so. Take care.
JEFFREY February 11, 2013 at 03:43 AM
Good comeback, Kim.
JEFFREY February 11, 2013 at 03:58 AM
You're too kind and generous. You gave him a 20% rating. I give him a 10% rating at best.
JEFFREY February 11, 2013 at 04:03 AM
Nazaretti, I'm glad you determined what's good for everyone else. You're intitled to your opinion of course, no matter how assinine it is.
Mike Shortall Sr February 11, 2013 at 05:28 AM
A couple of unemotional points to consider ... 1. Camelot is contractually guaranteeing to DOUBLE Pennsylvania profits by 2033. Raising $34 billion in the 20-year span of the proposed agreement. The State has raised only $22.6 billion in its entire 40 year existence. 2. Profit commitments will be backed by $200 million in cash collateral. 3. Since the lottery will remain active - even more so - as Camelot plans to grow the program, employment of Pennsylvanians would HAVE to continue. And obviously, Pennsylvanians, who do the REAL work behind the lottery program, would still be needed. Some redundant management positions would be lost initially. So all the accusations of lost jobs and disappearing pensions is a bit overdramatic. 4. Nobody ever holds a gun to anyone's head forcing them to play lottery games or to walk into a casino, be they rich, poor or somewhere in the middle. If this is how people want to spend their money, as they do on booze, why wouldn't you want that money to stay HERE rather go to some other State? 5. There is no plan that I have heard to reduce the support to PA seniors that the lottery currently provides. Has anyone else heard otherwise? I'm no expert on the gaming industry, and only play maybe $40-50 a month on Powerball and MegaMillion dreams. But it sure would be difficult to turn down such a guaranteed revenue stream, don't you think?
Joe Joe JoeyJoe February 22, 2013 at 10:55 AM
Anyone who wants to support privitazation of the lottery is crazy. Outsourcing Pennsylvania jobs to a foreign company is un-American. Camelot will run away the second it's time to pay the fiddler.

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