The commonwealth announced Friday it had issued a notice of award to the bidder that wants to manage the Pennsylvania Lottery.
It is a move that the state said would allow officials to more freely release information and discuss details at a state Senate committee hearing today.
The notice is not a binding contract with Camelot, said Jay Pagni, spokesman for the Governor’s Budget Office.
It was the latest step in the process Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration began last year to potentially bring in private management for the state gaming asset.
The lottery today means about $1 billion in annual profits to benefit programs for the state’s senior population.
To support at least considering a management privatization move, Corbett’s administration has cited the increasing number of older Pennsylvanians.
As the process has progressed, the administration has come under increasing fire for not being transparent enough. But until the state got to this stage and made such a notice, it was bound by confidentiality, Pagni said.
“The process is dictated by the (state) procurement code,” he said.
Confidentiality of information was an integral part of the earlier and competitive portions of private management consideration in order to get the best possible results from interested firms, Pagni said.
The American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees Council 13 issued its counterproposal on Tuesday, two days ahead of an extended deadline for Camelot’s bid.
That was originally valid until Dec. 31, , but the deadline was further extended by one day to Friday, and this notice of award to Camelot negates the need for another bid extension, Pagni said.