Pennsylvania political gurus G. Terry Madonna and Michael Young had an interesting take on plans to privatize the state lottery in a recent column. They call it a bad bet.
The piece also has some interesting tidbits. Did you know, for instance, that Camelot, the British company poised to take over operations of the lottery, is actually owned by a teachers pension fund in Ontario, Canada?
Apparently so, according to Madonna and Young.
They point out a pretty obvious irony. While Pennsylvania taxpayers are about to get walloped with tax hikes to cover teacher pension costs, the retired teachers fund in Canada is poised to rake in millions from Pennsylvanians:
So, while here in Pennsylvania, we are worrying about the unfunded liabilities of our own “teachers’ pension plan” (as well as our own state employees plan), Canadian entities are making a healthy buck selling services to our own state lottery. Not a bad gig. Pennsylvania sends lottery profits to a British company, one owned by a Canadian pension fund, while we lose some unknown number of Pennsylvania jobs in the process. Meanwhile, legal issues may keep the whole thing in legal limbo for months if not years.
Why can’t we be smart and entrepreneurial like that in Pennsylvania, ask Madonna and Young.