Maybe handing off management of the Pennsylvania Lottery to a foreign company for 20 years is a good move for our state's senior citizens, who benefit from the program's proceeds.

As the boomer population ages, more funding for seniors services definitely will be needed in the coming years.

But there are enough questions about the deal between Gov. Tom Corbett and United Kingdom-based Camelot Global Services, the sole bidder on the contract, to warrant slowing the process down.

One is whether the governor even has the authority to make the move without the approval of the General Assembly. Corbett claims he does, but a state employees union and seven Democratic lawmakers disagree.

They're suing to stop the deal, which they argue the governor has negotiated in secret and is trying to rush through without any public input.

Even if the Lottery Act of 1971 does allow Corbett to act alone, that doesn't necessarily mean Camelot Global Services will have carte blanche to do anything it deems necessary to increase profits.

In an Associated Press report earlier this month, state Treasurer Rob McCord said the management agreement proposed by Corbett's Department of Revenue appears to grant Camelot "unfettered discretion" to expand lottery gambling -- to the point where it exceeds state lottery law or conflicts with laws on casino gambling.


But the biggest question is whether it's even necessary to call in an outside firm to run the lottery, which is one of the nation's largest and, according to Democrats, consistently a leader in sales and low operating costs.

Although Republicans have been mostly silent on the issue, state Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover weighs in here today with an opinion piece that makes a good case for the need to raise more revenue for our growing elderly population.

He says the deal will result in an additional $1 billion in revenue in each of the first five years of a contract, and another $5 billion over the life of the contract.

What's still missing, unfortunately, is how exactly Camelot plans to accomplish that.

Promising a big, fat cheque is one thing. Delivering is another.

If details were available, the next logical question would be: Why can't the Department of Revenue, which runs the lottery, do the same thing? After all, it's been in the lottery business for 41 years.

By comparison, Camelot has been running the UK National Lottery for 18 years.

Fortunately, there are signs Corbett might be applying the brakes.

Aides to the governor this week said he's willing to extend the Dec. 31 bid deadline to answer questions and allow unionized employees time to offer a competitive alternative.

We hope he does.

Who knows? This might be a winning ticket.