IN MY OPINION Vowing to be a responsible steward
Gov. Tom Corbett's administration has finalized a long-term contract with a British company to manage the state-owned lottery. The paperwork is under review by the state attorney general's office. By Alex Kovach, Managing director, Camelot Global Services Special to the Sunday News
am extremely proud to work for Camelot, which was recently recognized by the World Lottery Association as the most responsible lottery company in the world. We have earned this distinction through hard work and delivering on our promises.
Little is known about us in Pennsylvania and, for that reason, misconceptions have been formed based on occurrences in other states. These have led to concerns that are understandable, even if they are not accurate.
For the last 18 years, we have been the operator of United Kingdom Lottery, serving around 51 million people. Our mission is to deliver a popular lottery that raises as much money as possible for what the U.K. calls "good causes," and is similar to how lottery proceeds in Pennsylvania are used for programs to help seniors.
In some key ways, Camelot's approach to running lotteries differs from what you see in most U.S. state lotteries. In America, a few demographics tend to play a lot, and most groups hardly play at all. By definition, that's a regressive approach that no one would call good public policy. Camelot's approach is the opposite: More than 70 percent of the adult U.K. population play the lottery, but they typically spend the equivalent of only a few dollars every week.
To date, this philosophy has enabled Camelot to return more than $60 billion to good causes, including $3.3 billion for the 2012 Olympics in London. As a result, our contract has now been renewed three times by the U.K. In our current contract extension to 2023, we have committed to producing $2.7 billion in new lottery funding.
Camelot also conceived and is a founding member of EuroMillions, the world's largest multinational draw-based game that is played in nine countries. Its experience in the U.S. includes producing tremendous results for the California State Lottery since 2009. By providing expertise on business planning, as well as sales and marketing support, that lottery is now expected to generate an additional $2.25 billion in incremental sales, creating $780 million in new funds for education over the next three years.
We see similar potential in Pennsylvania and believe our approach can deliver the same level of success as in California. While this state's lottery is well-operated and has an established core-player base, we believe the potential for growth exists.
Camelot guarantees $34 billion in profits over the next 20 years to benefit programs for this state's older residents.
In making our bid to operate the Pennsylvania Lottery, Camelot has made a number of other commitments. It will make major investments in the lottery -- in its brand, its operations and its people. We intend to retain as many current lottery employees as possible. Over time, we expect the overall head count to increase as we continue to invest in the lottery. At the heart of any successful organization is its people. Our success in the U.K. comes from our commitment to innovation, excellence, teamwork, integrity and responsibility. These will be our values in Pennsylvania, and that begins with valuing the people who work so hard to make the Pennsylvania Lottery a success.
We are confident that we can deliver on our promises so, at Gov. Corbett's insistence, we are putting our money where our proverbial mouth is. If Camelot doesn't deliver on our commitments, the risk is on us and only us. Funding to seniors is a commitment, whether it comes from lottery proceeds or from our own pockets. Camelot will only make a profit if we exceed our commitment.
Our commitments are not just about money. We plan to incorporate and locate all of our lottery operations in Pennsylvania. With our offices here, we will pay all relevant taxes, making our investment in Pennsylvania total and complete.
Everything in Camelot's history and track record suggests we will be a responsible steward for the Pennsylvania Lottery. We want to win the trust of the citizens, and we appreciate the faith the commonwealth has shown in us so far. Camelot intends to work hard to earn that trust and faith . n