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House Passes Bills to Update Small Games of Chance Act, Boback Says
HARRISBURG – The state House voted Monday to pass House Bill 290, which updates the Commonwealth’s Small Games of Chance Act, according to Rep. Karen Boback (R-Columbia/Luzerne/Wyoming). The bill also clarifies recordkeeping in regard to small games of chance.

“I’ve heard of many concerns with the Small Games of Chance Act from my constituents,” Boback said. “I am confident that, with these changes, organizations can be assured that they are conducting games within the law.”

House Bill 290 makes many clarifications to the existing Small Games of Chance Act, including the term “public interest charities,” drawings and prize limits, special raffle permits, record keeping, licenses and fees, location of games and enforcement responsibilities. It acknowledges that several games have been played across Pennsylvania for years and it adds them to the allowable list. Those games include Race Night, pools as games of chance and Chinese auctions. The law increases prize limits and includes provisions for special raffle permits.

“Race Night games are a big concern for me and that is why I authored House Bill 657, which was incorporated into this bill,” Boback said. “I’ve been contacted by many groups in my area who want to hold these games and I’m proud to provide our charitable organizations with another way to raise money for good causes.”

Under the legislation, license fees are increased from $100 to $125 for a regular license. However, a new license will be available for $25 that will allow organizations to conduct games for a 30-day consecutive period, removing the provision for a limited occasion license. In addition, the state’s Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement (LCE) will not be able to enforce that law with organizations that have a special occasion permit for alcohol sales. LCE will retain enforcement power over any Liquor Code violations of these organizations.

The bill now moves to the state Senate for consideration. In addition, the Senate voted Monday to pass House Bill 1098, which was passed by the House last week. The bill allows restaurants and taverns to apply for a license to operate pull-tab games, daily drawings or raffles, and allows 50/50 drawings at minor league sporting events. It requires 60 percent of proceeds from the tavern games to be distributed to the state’s General Fund. Five percent of the proceeds would be distributed to local governments to be used for various matters, such as enforcement.

For more legislative news, visit

Representative Karen Boback
117th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Nick Ruffner
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