|Posted:||January 25, 2019 11:29 AM|
|From:||Representative Kurt A. Masser|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Amending the Local Option Small Games of Chance (former HB960)|
|In the near future, I will be re-introducing legislation amending the Local Option Small Games of Chance Act (SGOC Act) to make tavern gaming more accessible for the Commonwealth’s taverns, and more profitable to the Commonwealth.
By way of background, Act 90 of 2013 amended the SGOC Act to permit certain liquor license holders to conduct three small games of chance: daily drawings, raffles and pull-tabs. According to estimates from the previous administration, tavern gaming was supposed to generate $156 million in ongoing tax revenue for the Commonwealth from an estimated 2,000 licensees. However, only 51 taverns have successfully obtained a license to date, and the Commonwealth has yet to receive significant revenue from this new gaming option.
There are three main reasons for such a dramatic shortfall in license applications: the application process is too cumbersome, the taxes/fees are too high and gaming infractions could affect a tavern’s liquor license. In summation, tavern gaming provides increased risk to a liquor license while not providing a tavern owner with any substantial increase in profits. In order to address these issues, my legislation will provide for the following:
Introduced as HB1274