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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 25, 2017 08:25 AM
From: Representative Dom Costa
To: All House members
Subject: Legislation that would Address Compulsive and Problem Gambling under the Local Option Small Games of Chance Act

In the near future, I will be re-introducing legislation from last session (House Bill 110) that would amend Act 2 of 1988, also known as the Local Option Small Games of Chance Act, to provide resources for compulsive and problem gambling in Pennsylvania that is associated with tavern gaming.

Currently, the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act provided for under Title 4 (Amusements) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes addresses the need for Pennsylvania and the gaming industry to combat compulsive and problem gambling by dedicating a portion of revenue to the treatment of addicted gamblers. However, the General Assembly failed to follow this model when gaming was expanded to local bars, taverns, and restaurants under the Local Option Small Games of Chance Act.

This legislation would provide for the transfer of $300,000 from the taxes collected on tavern games to the Compulsive and Problem Gambling Treatment Fund established under Title 4. This measure would simply shift revenue that has already been received from taverns and deposited into the General Fund.

In addition, 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. Notices would be required to be posted within 25 feet of the entrances, exits, and automated teller machines.

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

Introduced as HB334