|Posted:||November 21, 2019 03:43 PM|
|From:||Representative Jim Marshall and Rep. Scott Conklin|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Expansion of VGTs at Certain Club Liquor Licensed Establishments|
|In the near future, we will introduce legislation to legalize a statewide operator-based model for video gaming terminals (VGTs) at certain club liquor licensed establishments, such as American Legions, Lodges and VFWs. These games will be overseen and regulated by our Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
Recently, the House Gaming Oversight Committee held a hearing in which the Pennsylvania State Police testified that there is wide-spread unauthorized and unregulated gambling operations being conducted in the Commonwealth. Such unauthorized and unregulated gambling operations have proliferated rapidly across the Commonwealth and we agree with the Pennsylvania State Police that this brings a lack of consumer protection, no safeguards to prevent minors from gambling such as in our licensed gaming facilities, no public interest purpose designation of the proceeds, as in the Small Games of Chance Act, and no documented tax reporting of amounts taken or winnings paid out. Further, based upon their expansion and number of venues, we agree there is an economic loss to legalized gaming and lottery through their existence.
Therefore, after holding multiple hearings, it is apparent that the best way to find a resolution is to expand the approved locations for VGT placement under the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board at club liquor licensed establishments. This will place skill machines under the same authorization process currently in effect for VGTs as well as require connection to a central control system and provide much needed clarity for law enforcement.
In addition to authorizing VGTs in certain club liquor licensed establishments, our legislation will outlaw the possibility for skill machines to operate outside of club liquor licensed establishments. Also, in recognition of the importance of the lottery’s contribution to our senior programs, our legislation will place a hold harmless on the lottery fund while dedicating a portion of all future video gaming revenues to senior programs.
Finally, this legislation will take into careful consideration the issue of problem gambling. It will provide additional dollars to support gambling addiction programs. Expanding operator-based video gaming terminals will bring long-overdue oversight and accountability.
If you have any questions with regard to this co-sponsorship memo, please contact either of our offices.