Measure to Update Small Games of Chance Act Advances
HARRISBURG – In efforts to help local nonprofit organizations continue their charitable missions in our communities, legislation to update the state’s Small Games of Chance Act and clarify record keeping is headed back to the Senate, said Rep. Seth Grove (R-Dover), co-sponsor of the legislation.

“This is a move to update the antiquated Small Games of Chance Act,” said Grove. “Our intent with this legislation is to bring into law a number of the games that are already being played. These organizations want to follow the letter of the law and continue their good works, and state government should strive to reach the balance between regulation and accountability.”

Under House Bill 290, numerous changes have been made to the Small Games of Chance Act, including the addition of allowable games, clarification of the term “public interest charities,” drawings and prize limits, special raffle permits, record keeping, licenses and fees, location of games and enforcement responsibilities.

“With this new legislation, we are making sure that many nonprofits that operate in the sole interest of the public – such as volunteer fire companies, veterans service organizations and others – can use 100 percent of their proceeds to continue their mission of helping others,” Grove said.

In addition, the law acknowledges that numerous games have been played around the state for years, and seeks to add Race Night games, raffle auction and pools as games of chance to the list of small games allowed by law.

Among the other updates, prize limits are increased, and provisions are established for special raffle permits.

For record-keeping purposes, the legislation increases the threshold from $100 to $600 for which an organization must record the name and address of a winner and a receipt given to the winner. In addition, all reporting requirements are removed for eligible organizations that do not hold a liquor license, and organizations do not have to undergo background checks for their officers or maintain a separate bank account if they generate less than $40,000 in proceeds.

License fees are also increased from $100 to $125 for a regular license, but a new license is being created for a $25 fee for those organizations to conduct games for a 30-day consecutive period and removes provisions for a limited occasion license.

Lastly, the state police’s Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement (LCE) will not be able to enforce the small games of chance law with organizations that solely have a special occasion permit for alcohol sales. LCE will retain enforcement power over any Liquor Code violations of these organizations.

Representative Seth Grove
196th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Mike Straub
717.260.6479 /
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