HARRISBURG – A two-bill package of legislation that supports Pennsylvania’s charitable clubs, veterans’ organizations and small businesses through changes to the Small Games of Chance Act is now advancing in the General Assembly following House passage that included support from state Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk).
House Bill 290, which passed by a vote of 190-11 and returns to the Senate for concurrence, would increase the number of allowable games for charitable clubs and veterans organizations and expand opportunities for them to give back to their communities. House Bill 1098, which was sent to Gov. Tom Corbett’s desk for his signature into law, would allow clubs with liquor licenses to keep more of the money raised from gaming for operating expenses. It would also allow certain restaurants and taverns to conduct certain small games of chance. Both bills contain provisions to address problems with the current law that have been identified by clubs pertaining to cumbersome and unnecessary compliance and reporting requirements.
Gabler issued the following statement Monday in reaction to movement of both bills:
“I spent a great deal of time recently discussing this package of legislation in my district with American Legion and VFW members, people who will directly benefit from the provisions we added to this legislation. They told me last year’s attempt to fix this law (Act 184 of 2012) did more harm than good and we need to address the problems that were created. I took that information to Harrisburg, successfully fought for a seat at the table and had a hand in crafting the best possible solution.
“Veterans organizations throughout the state are in danger of closing if we do nothing. This legislation is a lifeline to them to ensure that veterans can actually benefit from the small games of chance that run in their clubs. Additionally, all charitable clubs will be able to keep a higher percentage of their proceeds to ensure they remain economically viable for the great work they do in our communities.
“This package of bills also expands opportunities for Pennsylvania’s small businesses by permitting them to generate additional revenue through certain small games of chance. Local restaurants and taverns provide jobs in their communities, and these bills would not only offer insurance for those jobs in these difficult economic times, but hold out the possibility of hiring additional employees at these establishments.”
Questions about this or any other legislative issue may be directed to Gabler’s DuBois district office at 814-375-4688 or his St. Marys office at 814-781-6301.