Pennsylvania Senate Allows Gambling in Bars
Earlier this week the Pennsylvania Senate approved a huge expansion of gambling in the state which will allow bars to apply for a license to run raffles and other games and split the revenue with the state.The measure, an amendment to the Local Option Small Games of Chance Act of 1988, passed by a majority of 34 – 15.
It is thought that if 2,000 bars obtain licenses, taxes on the new games could raise up to $156 million annually for the general fund. This is significantly more than Pennsylvania’s casino’s table games which brought in $103 million in taxes this year.
A number of bar owners outside Philadelphia fought hard for the bill as it will help them compete with veterans’ clubs.
John Longacre, owner of the South Philadelphia Tap Room, Brew, and the American Sardine Bar said, “In some of the counties outside of Philadelphia, there are more VFW posts than there are restaurants and bars. The VFW posts [practically] give away dollar beers, and they have this gambling – I don’t really even consider it gambling – small games that they are allowed to do.”
For regular bars, 60% of revenue from gambling will go to the state. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will be in charge of license applications.