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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: June 4, 2019 10:34 AM
From: Representative Dan Moul
To: All House members
Subject: Skill Games Small Games of Chance
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation to legalize “Pennsylvania Skill Machines” in certain establishments across the Commonwealth.

As you know, skill machines have proliferated across the Commonwealth over the past few years, and both law enforcement officials and gaming experts disagree on whether these machines are gambling devices. In order to bring clarity to this subject, my bill will amend the Local Option Small Games of Chance Act to make these machines legal for those who hold either a small games of chance license (nonprofits and clubs) or a tavern gaming license (liquor establishments). The bill would also provide the PA Gaming Control Board with the authority to license both the manufactures and distributors of these machines and require the board to test the machines in their lab, similarly to what the board currently does for slot machines. Finally, revenue generated from these machines would be distributed as follows:
  • For nonprofits, 100% of the revenue from skill machines would be used for charitable purposes.
  • For clubs, 60% of the revenue would be used for charitable purposes and 40% would be retained by the club.
  • For taverns, a 50% tax and a 5% local share assessment on skill machine revenue.
My legislation would also incorporate omnibus changes to the Local Option Small Games of Chance Act that I have introduced in other legislation in the current and previous sessions. Those changes include:

  • Eliminate the weekly aggregate prize limit imposed on licensed eligible organizations.
  • Simplify the license renewal process for eligible organizations.
  • Permit eligible organizations to operate vertical wheels and other new games.
  • Allow clubs to retain more small games revenue.
  • Other omnibus changes to make small games more profitable,
  • Reducing licensing costs, taxes and other burdens preventing taverns from obtaining a tavern gaming license.

I hope you will join me in cosponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB1598