Our opinion: Camelot’s lure

In short, there’s simply not

A more congenial spot

For happily-ever-aftering than here

In Camelot.

Lyrics by Alan J. Lerner

Oh, if only things in Harrisburg could go as well as they did in that mythical Arthurian kingdom.

But, alas, things are not at all well with Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposal to offer up the Pennsylvania to a British gaming company named for that utopian place.

Democrats aren’t happy with it; you can expect that. The union which represents state employees who currently run the lottery aren’t happy with it; you can expect that, too. The state’s Treasurer and Auditor General aren’t happy with it; it’s getting sticky. And now, even some Republicans are concerned; this is getting tough.

The Pennsylvania Lottery has been turning billions of dollars in profits now for decades, providing those profits to the state to fund a plethora of programs for the elderly, from free transportation to low-cost prescriptions, even the bingo they play at senior centers.

Corbett, who never saw a public service that could not be done better by the private sector, thinks that Camelot can do better.

OK, we’ll bite on that. The goal seems worthy: Provide even more resources for the state’s elderly residents and relieve taxpayers of that burden.

But the devil, as they say, is in the details. And, that’s just what we don’t have from the Corbett administration. Camelot’s business plan is a secret.

Add to that the union’s contention that Camelot’s the expansion of the lottery to certain games – such as Keno and bar-top video games – is prohibited by state law.

The union has already filed a grievance and unfair labor practice law.

We’ll have to admit, the confidentiality of the proposal, coupled with the long-term contract being proposed – it would far out-live the Corbett administration even if it receives a second term – does not boost our confidence in the deal.

The Senate Finance Committee will begin hearings on the proposal today, but it’s not likely they’ll get much more information than the administration has offered so far.