PLCB invites bars to learn more about tavern gaming
In an effort to educate retail liquor licensees interested in tavern gaming, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, Gaming Control Board, Department of Revenue and State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement will hold a series of informational seminars across Pennsylvania beginning with a Jan. 13, event in Harrisburg.
In Allegheny County, the session will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 21 beginning at 1 p.m. at the Double Tree by Hilton Pittsburgh – Green Tree, 500 Mansfield Ave ., Pittsburgh, PA 15205. Those planning to attend should register in advance at http://www.lcb.state.pa.us.
Signed into law on Nov. 27, Act 90 of 2013 allows the owners of most retail liquor licenses the ability to apply for a new Tavern Gaming License when the application becomes available on Jan. 27. The new license grants owners the authority to offer tavern raffles for a charitable or public purpose, pull-tab games and tavern daily drawings.
“Since the ‘Tavern Gaming License’ is completely new, the PLCB, in conjunction with the Gaming Control Board, developed a new application and application process based on the statutory requirements detailed in the law,” said PLCB Chairman Joseph E. Brion. “The goal of these sessions is to provide our liquor licensees with important information about the application and what’s expected before it becomes available to facilitate a smooth application process. We anticipate there will be numerous questions, so we encourage our licensees to attend the meetings to begin that dialogue.”
Under the new law, retail alcohol beverage licensees may be eligible to apply for the Tavern Gaming License with the exception of:
• Eating Place Retail Dispenser Licenses;
• Club and Catering Club Licenses;
• Grocery Stores;
• Casinos; or,
• Venues that hold a professional sporting events.
While the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board will process the applications and ultimately approve them, other state agencies will have a role in tavern gaming as well. For instance, the Gaming Control Board (PGCB) will conduct a thorough background check on applicants and provide that information to the PLCB.
“The need for a tavern gaming applicant to be forthright and complete in providing information cannot be understated,” said Paul Mauro, director of the PGCB’s Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement. “The more required information that we need to go back and request from the applicant means a longer application process, the possibility of additional background check costs and a delay in the approval by the PLCB of the license.”
During the informational sessions, the Department of Revenue will discuss the new tavern tax and its filing and payment obligations related to taverns, as well as the annual reporting requirements of the law.
“While we recognize taverns’ immediate interest is in understanding the application process to become licensed to sell tavern games, we appreciate this early opportunity to provide taverns basic information about the tax obligations that accompany this new business opportunity,” said Secretary of Revenue Dan Meuser. “The Department of Revenue is eager to inform taverns to enable them to comply with the tax law, and ultimately, to maximize this new revenue stream for Pennsylvania.”
The State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement will enforce the licensing and gaming requirements of the new law in addition to maintaining their current responsibilities enforcing the Liquor Code.
These seminars are intended for taverns interested in Tavern Gaming Licenses only; small games of chance distributors, club licensees and eligible organizations are discouraged from attending and are instead encouraged to visit http://www.revenue.state.pa.us/SGOC for information on how Acts 90 and 92 of 2013 impact them.
Anyone with questions regarding the informational sessions is encouraged to call 717-783-8250.