The Pennsylvania lottery is looking at expanding its highly successful program with online ticket sales and keno.

While state officials believe that the expansion could help beef up revenues that benefit seniors, state employee unions are saying, “Not so fast.” What’s bothering critics are Governor Tom Corbett’s highly secretive attempts to privatize the lottery’s online component.

The proposed expansion would allow for online lottery ticket sales and keno terminals in various businesses. (That State of Illinois implemented a similar system last year and more states are expected to follow along.)

Lawmakers are questioning both the Governor’s authority to privatize the lottery, as well as his authority to court lottery vendors in private. They’re also questioning why outside vendors are needed to take over a state operation that’s already pulling in over $1 billion annually for senior services.

Governor Corbett’s office says privatizing the lottery systems will make it even more profitable than it is today. In a recent interview with Associated Press, Corbett defended his actions saying:

If we can ensure increased funding and protect our seniors who are the recipients of the lottery…then we have our obligation to take a look at privatizing.

So far there’s no word on when this issue will be resolved.

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