By Eric Boehm | PA Independent
After years of effort, a proposal to expand so-called “small games of chance” in bars and taverns across Pennsylvania appears headed for final passage.
The state House approved the gambling expansion bill with a vote of 102-96 Wednesday afternoon, sending it back to the state Senate. The Senate previously approved the bill in October, but must agree to minor changes made by the House.
The bill would allow bars to hold raffles and drawings for cash prizes. Such games are currently only allowed in private clubs like Elks lodges, VFW posts and similar institutions.
Republicans say the state could generate as much as $156 million annually from taxes on the newly-legalized forms of gambling, but that’s if as many as 2,000 bars and taverns choose to participate.
“I do think the fact that it had a positive impact on the budget was an additional positive factor,” House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, told WITF’s Mary Wilson.
State Rep. Paul Clymer, R-Bucks, an outspoken critic of legalized gambling in the state, said the bill would not produce the promised revenue and would hurt Pennsylvania families.
Boehm can be reached at Eric@PAIndependent.com and follow @PAIndependent on Twitter for more.