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House Approves Small Games Of Chance In Bars; Senate To Consider Changes To Bill

November 14, 2013

The state House of Representatives on Wednesday approved by a narrow margin a bill that would allow Pennsylvania bars to offer “small games of chance.”

The Senate bill, which would allow bars to offer pull-tab games, daily drawings and raffles, was sent back to the Senate for their approval of some House changes apparently intended to appease the non-profit organizations which already have the games but say their business and their fund-raising efforts would be dramatically affected by the new law.

The House updates reportedly include a change that would allow the non-profits to keep forty percent of the games revenue, an increase from thirty percent, and fewer restrictions to the ways the clubs may spend those profits.

Under the bill, bars would get to keep 35 percent of the proceeds, with five percent going to their local municipalities and sixty percent to the state.

Opponents of the measure include representatives of many non-profits who say many clubs would be forced to shut down if the games are allowed in public bars, and those who fear the expansion will hurt the state lottery program which funds senior citizens programs.

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