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PRINTER'S NO. 229
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
271
Session of
2017
INTRODUCED BY ORTITAY, V. BROWN, D. COSTA, DUNBAR, ENGLISH,
KORTZ, WARD AND YOUNGBLOOD, JANUARY 31, 2017
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON GAMING OVERSIGHT, JANUARY 31, 2017
AN ACT
Amending Title 4 (Amusements) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes, in administration and enforcement relating to
gaming, further providing for compulsive and problem gambling
program.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 1509 of Title 4 of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes is amended to read:
ยง 1509. Compulsive and problem gambling program.
(a) Establishment of program.--The Department of [Health]
Drug and Alcohol Programs, in consultation with organizations
similar to the Mid-Atlantic Addiction Training Institute, shall
develop program guidelines for public education, awareness and
training regarding compulsive and problem gambling and the
treatment and prevention of compulsive and problem gambling. The
guidelines shall include strategies for the prevention of
compulsive and problem gambling. The Department of [Health] Drug
and Alcohol Programs may consult with the board and licensed
gaming entities to develop such strategies.
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(a.1) Duties of Department of [Health] Drug and Alcohol
Programs.--From funds available in the Compulsive and Problem
Gambling Treatment Fund, the Department of [Health] Drug and
Alcohol Programs shall:
(1) Maintain [a] one compulsive gamblers assistance
organization's toll-free problem gambling telephone number,
which shall be the number 1-800-GAMBLER, to provide crisis
counseling and referral services to individuals and families
experiencing difficulty as a result of problem or compulsive
gambling. If the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs
determines that it is unable to adopt the number 1-800-
GAMBLER, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs shall
maintain another number.
(2) Facilitate, through in-service training and other
means, the availability of effective assistance programs for
problem and compulsive gamblers and family members affected
by problem and compulsive gambling.
(3) At its discretion, conduct studies to identify
individuals in this Commonwealth who are or are at risk of
becoming problem or compulsive gamblers.
(4) Provide grants to and contract with single county
authorities and other organizations which provide services as
set forth in this section.
(5) Reimburse organizations for reasonable expenses
incurred assisting the Department of [Health] Drug and
Alcohol Programs with implementing this section.
(a.2) Duties of Department of [Health] Drug and Alcohol
Programs and board.--[Within 60 days following the effective
date of this subsection, the] The Department of [Health's Bureau
of] Drug and Alcohol Programs and the board's Office of
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Compulsive and Problem Gambling shall jointly collaborate with
other appropriate offices and agencies of State or local
government, including single county authorities, and providers
and other persons, public or private, with expertise in
compulsive and problem gambling treatment to do the following:
(1) Implement a strategic plan for the prevention and
treatment of compulsive and problem gambling.
(2) Adopt compulsive and problem gambling treatment
standards to be integrated with the [Bureau] Department of
Drug and Alcohol Program's uniform Statewide guidelines that
govern the provision of addiction treatment services.
(3) Develop a method to coordinate compulsive and
problem gambling data collection and referral information to
crisis response hotlines, child welfare and domestic violence
programs and providers and other appropriate programs and
providers.
(4) Develop and disseminate educational materials to
provide public awareness related to the prevention,
recognition and treatment of compulsive and problem gambling.
(5) Develop demographic-specific compulsive and problem
gambling prevention, intervention and treatment programs.
(6) Prepare an itemized budget outlining how funds will
be allocated to fulfill the responsibilities under this
section.
(b) Compulsive and Problem Gambling Treatment Fund.--There
is hereby established in the State Treasury a special fund to be
known as the Compulsive and Problem Gambling Treatment Fund. All
moneys in the fund shall be administered by the Department of
[Health] Drug and Alcohol Programs and expended solely for
programs for the prevention and treatment of gambling addiction
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and other emotional and behavioral problems associated with or
related to gambling addiction and for the administration of the
compulsive and problem gambling program, provided that the
Department of [Health] Drug and Alcohol Programs shall annually
distribute at least 50% of the money in the fund to single
county authorities under subsection (d). The fund shall consist
of money annually allocated to it from the annual payment
established under section 1408(a) (relating to transfers from
State Gaming Fund), money which may be allocated by the board,
interest earnings on moneys in the fund and any other
contributions, payments or deposits which may be made to the
fund.
(c) Notice of availability of assistance.--
(1) [Each] Except as otherwise provided for in paragraph
(4), each slot machine licensee shall [obtain a] use the
toll-free telephone number [to be used] established by the
Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs in subsection (a.1)
(1) to provide persons with information on assistance for
compulsive or problem gambling. Each licensee shall
conspicuously post at least 20 signs similar to the following
statement:
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, help
is available. Call (Toll-free telephone number).
The signs must be posted within 50 feet of each entrance and
exit, within 50 feet of each automated teller machine
location within the licensed facility and in other
appropriate public areas of the licensed facility as
determined by the slot machine licensee.
(2) Each racetrack where slot machines or table games
are operated shall print a statement on daily racing programs
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provided to the general public that is similar to the
following:
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, help
is available. Call (Toll-free telephone number).
Except as otherwise provided for in paragraph (4), the toll-
free telephone number shall be the same telephone number
established by the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs
under subsection (a.1)(1).
(3) A licensed facility which fails to post or print the
warning sign in accordance with paragraph (1) or (2) shall be
assessed a fine of $1,000 a day for each day the minimum
number of signs are not posted or the required statement is
not printed as provided in this subsection.
(4) Slot machine licensees or racetracks utilizing a
toll-free telephone number other than the number established
by the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs under
subsection (a.1)(1) prior to the effective date of this
paragraph may continue to use that number for a period not to
exceed three years from the effective date of this paragraph
upon showing good cause to the Department of Drug and Alcohol
Programs.
(d) Single county authorities.--The Department of [Health]
Drug and Alcohol Programs shall make grants from the fund
established under subsection (b) to single county authorities
created pursuant to the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.221, No.63),
known as the Pennsylvania Drug and Alcohol Abuse Control Act,
for the purpose of providing compulsive gambling and gambling
addiction prevention, treatment and education programs.
Treatment may include financial counseling, irrespective of
whether the financial counseling is provided by the single
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county authority, the treatment service provider or
subcontracted to a third party. It is the intention of the
General Assembly that any grants made by the Department of
[Health] Drug and Alcohol Programs to any single county
authority in accordance with the provisions of this subsection
be used exclusively for the development and implementation of
compulsive and problem gambling programs authorized under this
section.
(d.1) Eligibility.--Eligibility to receive treatment
services for treatment of compulsive and problem gambling under
this section shall be determined using financial eligibility and
other requirements of the single county authorities as approved
by the Department of [Health] Drug and Alcohol Programs.
(d.2) Report.--[No later than October 1, 2010, and each]
Annually on October 1 [thereafter], the Department of [Health]
Drug and Alcohol Programs, in consultation with the board, shall
prepare and submit a report on the impact of the programs funded
by the Compulsive and Problem Gambling Treatment Fund to the
Governor and to the members of the General Assembly. The report
shall include aggregate demographic-specific data, including
race, gender, geography and income of those individuals treated.
(e) Definition.--As used in subsection (d), the term "single
county authority" means the agency designated by the Department
of Health pursuant to the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.221,
No.63), known as the Pennsylvania Drug and Alcohol Abuse Control
Act, to plan and coordinate drug and alcohol prevention,
intervention and treatment services for a geographic area, which
may consist of one or more counties.
Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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