Pa. liquor board approves tavern-gambling license

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania liquor regulators gave their permission today for the first license for a tavern in the state to operate small games of chance under a three-month-old law.

The Liquor Control Board voted to award a license to Midway Tavern in Hanover, in south-central Pennsylvania.

The Hanover bar’s owners must pay a $2,000 fee before they can start running the games.

State officials who are searching for additional sources of revenue to prop up a budget that is expected to be under considerable stress next year have projected that a tax on the new gambling will bring in about $100 million in the coming year’s budget.

Analysts had expected that about 2,000 bar owners would get licenses, based on the experience of Indiana. So far, however, only 10 applications have been submitted to the Liquor Control Board.

Under the law, signed in November by Gov. Tom Corbett, thousands of bar owners can seek licenses to conduct pull-tab games, daily drawings and charity raffles. Individual prize limits are $2,000 for a single game and $35,000 over seven days, while raffles are limited to one a month.