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House Passes Legislation Making Significant Improvements to State’s Small Games of Chance Act, Says Kauffman
HARRISBURG – An amendment authored by state Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Cumberland/Franklin) that would increase the weekly prize limit from $25,000 to $35,000 for Small Games of Chance licensees was approved today by the state House as part of a bill containing numerous updates to the law.

“My amendment seeks to raise the weekly prize limit so our nonprofit and service organizations have an easier time raising needed funding,” said Kauffman. “Many of my local small games of chance operators have contacted me about various aspects they would like to have changed in the current law and this was one of them.”

Kauffman’s amendment is part of House Bill 290, which seeks to include several long-standing games not specified in existing law and make several regulation updates to the Small Games of Chance Act.

Updates under House Bill 290 include: 

  • Adding Chinese Auctions, quarter auctions, race night games, poker runs and vertical wheels as games of chance.
  • Permitting “card game tournaments” at a licensed premise no more than five times annually and not more than one game per week. Prizes are limited to no more than $100 per game, or $200 for a Texas Hold’em tournament.
  • Allowing a club licensee to retain the first $40,000 in games of chance proceeds for use by the club. Once the club reaches $40,000, the current 70 percent/30 percent split of proceeds between public interest purposes and general operating expenses begins.
  • Making it clear in state law that an entity operating solely in the public interest, such as a volunteer fire company, has the ability to retain 100 percent of its revenue from small games for its own charitable purposes.
  • Making annual reporting forms available in a paper format that can be filed by mail, instead of only online options.
  • Changing the time period for which records need to be retained by a club licensee, from five years to two years.

“The Legislature soon realized after we passed the Small Games of Chance Act last year, that changes and clarifications would need to be made. We are working, through House Bill 290, to ensure we are providing a clearer system for which small games of chance licensees to operate, as well as allowing for a broader range of games for organizations to use to raise funds,” said Kauffman. “I am hopeful House Bill 290 is vetted swiftly in the Senate for the benefit of nonprofit organizations.”

House Bill 290 now heads to the state Senate for consideration.

Representative Rob Kauffman
89th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Tricia Lehman

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