A tavern gaming bill passed in the Pennsylvania State Senate by a 2 to 1 margin (34-15) on November 18, after narrowly passing in the House earlier in the year (102-96). The bill will allow bar owners to get more involved in small time gambling.
Currently the bar owners are only involved in the video poker gaming market. Basically this bill gives municipalities, providing that they have passed a small games referendum, the right to grant a license to registered bar owners that allows to hold their own raffles, drawing, and pull tab games, while paying out cash prizes directly on-site.
The tavern owners would have to apply for the license and pay $4,000 in one-time fees, with a $1,000 yearly renewal. The profit split will see the state get 60%, the owner receives 35%, and the township gets the remaining 5%.
Tavern gaming in effect gives everyone another revenue stream and Pennsylvania estimates they could gain almost $260 million from this form of gambling. Meanwhile the owner and municipalities benefit from more income, additional fees that will be collected, and the value of a liquor license increases; meaning it may go up in price and increase the owners investment if they ever decide to sell.
While there is some concern about the mixing of two deadly vices on much smaller and local level–drinking and gambling–the state has decided that it could use the money and is movng forward with the idea.