NEW: Mustio and Costa Make Fiscal Case for Legalizing Video Gaming Terminals in Local Taverns and Clubs – Capturing underground video gaming revenue would bolster Main Street and help balance state budget. VIDEO
June 23, 2016: The House last night defeated our amendment to allow VGTs in taverns and clubs by a significant margin, 79 in favor and 116 opposed. We had felt very confident until the Governor spoke to the House Democratic Caucus yesterday and asked them to vote NO on our amendment. As a result and despite our hard work, only 20 Democratic members kept their word and voted with us. We had close to 50 commitments earlier in the week.
Click here to view the vote tally.
HARRISBURG–Reps. Mark Mustio (R-Allegheny) and Paul Costa (D-Allegheny) hosted a state Capitol news conference today to discuss the benefits of legalizing Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs) in Pennsylvania’s taverns and clubs. Read More
The full House of Representatives voted on Tuesday, May 24 against giving casinos any further expansion (online gaming, 24 hour sales of alcohol, new OTB sites with hundreds of slots, etc.) until casinos agree to support Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs) in taverns and clubs. In a dramatic vote, only 81 Representatives voted for casino expansion while 107 voted against it. Speaker after speaker took the microphone and denounced the casinos for being greedy and for denying small local businesses from all over the state an opportunity to participate in gaming.
Click here to find out how your representative voted for the casino amendment. A NO vote was a vote for operators, bars and clubs. If your House member voted NO, call them and thank them for their support of local businesses. If they voted Yes, ask them to support VGTs in the next vote in June.
KNOW THE FACTS: Analysis of Mustio VGT Amendment
- All terminals in all locations are connected to a central computer for total accountability.
- Four tier system: Manufacturers, Distributors, Terminal Operators, and Establishments. You may only possess 1 type of license.
- Division of Revenues: 34% to the Commonwealth, 33% to Establishment and 33% to Operator.
- Terminal Operator must buy, place, service and maintain all terminals and redemption machines; they must collect and deposit all funds in state approved bank account that is “swept” nightly; they must place between $10,000 and $15,000 in each redemption machine; they must be bonded, insured and are responsible for monthly distribution of monies to Establishments.
- All current “gray” or “poker” machines will be illegal “per se”, which means they may be confiscated on sight by any law enforcement. No proof of gambling will be required.
- Only restaurant, hotel, golf course or club licenses issued by the LCB are eligible. Truck stops are also eligible however, grocery stores, beer distributors and special occasion permits are not.
- Inducements of any kind are illegal and may not be offered by Terminal Operators nor requested nor accepted by Establishments.
- Fees: Application – Manufacturers and Distributors – $50,000; Terminal Operators – $10,000; Service Technicians – $100 per technician
- Annual Fees: Manufacturers and Distributors – $10,000; Terminal Operators – $500 per terminal with a minimum of 50 required.
- Licensed Establishments – Application fee of $100; Annual license fee of $1,000; and an Annual license fee of $500 for each terminal located in the Establishment.
- No residency requirement for any class of license.
- Prohibition on all licensees: No felonies of any kind (ever) in any jurisdiction, or a conviction of any gambling offense in the last 15 years.
- Maximum of 5 VGTs per Establishment.
- Minimum 5 year written contracts are required between Terminal Operators and Establishments, in a form approved in advance by the PA Gaming Board. All current contracts and Right of 1st Refusal will be void. A licensed Establishment may only sign, or agree to sign, a written agreement with a licensed Terminal Operator or Terminal Operator Applicant.
- Redemption machine is required if 3 or more terminals are placed in an Establishment.
- Payout per machine or game is a minimum of 85%, maximum wager is $2.50 and maximum prize is $1,000.
- VGT Placement: this area may not be accessible to minors, must be secure and easily observed and monitored at all times by employees or management of establishment, and/or through video surveillance.
- Penalties for having illegal machines are severe: $10,000 for 1st offense, $50,000 for 2nd.
- Each Municipality shall receive $1,000 per VGT located within its boundaries.
- Other local Amusement licensing fees are capped at $100 annually.
- PROVISIONAL LICENSES FOR ALL 4 CLASSES OF LICENSEES ARE PERMITTED
- Requirements for a Provisional License are identical to requirements for a regular license but with an additional fee of $100 for Establishments and $5,000 for Terminal Operators.
- The PA Gaming Board has 60 days to prepare applications for licensure; a Terminal Operator then has 14 days to submit the full application along with a request and affidavit for a Provisional one. The PA Gaming Board may not issue any Operator licenses until it has agreed to approve a minimum of 10 Operator licenses.