Harrisburg, Dauphin County - Deal rejected.
Just weeks after Governor Tom Corbett entered into a contract to privatize the Pennsylvania lottery, the state attorney general says the deal is unconstitutional.
Kathleen Kane, who is from Lackawanna County, laid out her reasoning at a news conference in Harrisburg Thursday afternoon.
Kane said her office was required by state law to review the contract for its "form and legality."
The governor had wanted Camelot Global Services, a British firm, to run the lottery system.
Reaction to the decision came quickly at shops across northeastern Pennsylvania.
"I agree with it because I think it should stay right here in the state of Pennsylvania," Tim Connors of Dunmore said.
At Dunmore Cigar, a popular shop for lottery players, owner John Azzarelli says he's glad the Pennsylvania Attorney General rejected the deal.
He says the system now is not broken and already helps millions of elderly Pennsylvanians.
Azzarelli says he did not want to see the lottery in the hands of a British firm.
"We're trying to create jobs in Pennsylvania. We're trying not to eliminate good paying jobs," Azzarelli said. "The Pennsylvania lottery is run very efficiently."
Kathleen Kane says she rejected the contract for several reasons. Kane says Governor Corbett exceeded his authority and she also said the contract violated the state lottery act.
Democratic lawmakers praised the decision. They say it was purely driven by the governor's office.
"We never had a chance in the general assembly to make a vote on the matter of serious consequence," State senator John Blake of Lackawanna County said. "Twenty-five hundred workers who have been doing a heck of a job for us, raising a billion dollars a year."
Under the proposal first announced in November, the governor entered into a 20-year contract with Camelot in January.
Camelot had promised to raise $34 billion in profits during that time period.
Some lawmakers said they wondered if that was realistic.
"You hear from so many people who are concerned about jobs, concerned about the return, concerned about the promises the private companies are making," State Representative Sid Michaels Kavulich said.
In a statement, Governor Tom Corbett said he was "deeply disappointed." Governor Corbett says he doesn't agree with the attorney general's analysis and decision. He says he plans to review his legal options.