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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: January 14, 2015 11:26 AM
From: Representative Dom Costa
To: All House members
Subject: Addressing Compulsive and Problem Gambling Under the Local Option Small Games of Chance Act

In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation amending Act 2 of 1988, which is known as the Local Option Small Games of Chance Act, to provide resources for compulsive and problem gambling in Pennsylvania associated with tavern gaming.

Currently, although the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act under Title 4 addresses the need for Pennsylvania and the gaming industry to combat compulsive and problem gambling, including dedicating a portion of its revenue to the treatment of addicted gamblers, the General Assembly failed to follow this model when it expanded gaming to local bars, taverns, and restaurants under the Local Option Small Games of Chance Act. I truly believe that this is an unfortunate oversight by the General Assembly that needs to be rectified.

I intend to introduce legislation amending this law by transferring $300,000 from the tax collected on tavern games to the Compulsive and Problem Gambling Treatment fund established under Title 4. This is simply a shift in the revenue already received from the taverns that currently is deposited into the General Fund.

Also, this legislation would require any tavern that offers tavern games to post a toll-free telephone number provided by the Department of Health to assist compulsive and problem gamblers. These notices must be posted within 25 feet of the entrances, exits, and Automated Teller Machines. This is similar language to what is already required by the casinos, but on a much smaller scale.

Again, with the expansion of gaming to local bars, taverns and restaurants, I believe we have a responsibility to all Pennsylvanians to address this issue and provide adequate funding for compulsive and problem gambling under the Local Option Small Games of Chance Act. It is my hope that you will join me in sponsoring this important legislation

Introduced as HB110