Senate Committee Approves Laughlin’s Local Option Small Games of Chance Legislation

HARRISBURG The Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee has approved legislation, Senate Bill 643, that would amend Pennsylvania’s Local Option Small Games of Chance (SGOC) Act to allow club licensees to retain 50% of their proceeds from small games of chance while maintaining charitable donation requirements for the other 50%, said bill prime sponsor Sen. Dan Laughlin (R-49).

“Originally, clubs were only allowed to keep 30% of their proceeds, and in 2013, that number was increased to 40%,” explained Laughlin.

Laughlin noted that in 2020, because of the pandemic, the General Assembly enacted Act 118, which allows SGOC licensees to temporarily forgo their annual donation requirement so that, presently, clubs may use 100% of their SGOC revenue for operating expenses. That authorization is set to expire on June 10, 2022, but legislation, Senate Bill 1159, to extend that expiration date to Dec. 31, 2022, was approved by the committee in addition to SB 643.

“With the expanding gaming landscape in Pennsylvania, the purpose of this legislation is to allow our club licensees the opportunity to remain viable competitors,” said Laughlin. “The intention is not to take away from the communities they serve but rather to give the club licensees the tools to thrive so they are able to continue helping their communities through charitable giving. The committee today approving a short- and long-term solution is a positive step for our Small Games of Chance licensees.”

The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

Contact:         David Kozak     

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