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Adams County tavern becomes first to get small games of chance in Pa.

Updated: Thursday, March 6 2014, 02:11 AM CST
Reported by Donna Kirker Morgan:

HANOVER -- An Adams County tavern became the first in the state to get a license to allow its customers to play small games of chance.

The owners of the Midtown Tavern say they have been lobbying for small games of chance for 26 years and consider their approval as a big success.  They thanked the Liquor Control Board and lawmakers for approving the bill.

Barry and Rhonda Zeigler believe this will be a big win for the state as it too will make money off the games.

That is what lawmakers were betting on when they said “yes” last fall to Act 90.  The state projected it would result in $4.9 million in revenues for the state this year and $102 million in the next fiscal budget.

Rhonda said she think it’s worth it for the Commonwealth since they get 60 percent worth of the proceeds, municipalities 5 percent and the rest will be left to the business.

So far, though, only ten applications are in.  Some lawmakers believe the process is way too cumbersome and the Pennsylvania Beverage Association tells CBS21 that FBI background checks are holding up a lot of establishments. They can’t submit anything until that is completed.

A spokesman for the Pa. Gaming Board says this is new program and it needs to be given the time to develop.

“You are talking gaming and gaming traditionally takes a lot of background investigation,” Richard McGarvey said. ”People always want to make sure games are played fair and people running them are not putting money towards organized crime.”

We were reassured from various people Wednesday that efforts are underway to simplify the process that involves four different state agencies. The process took Rhonda Zeigler eight hours of work to get through the paperwork for her tavern.  She is now working on her second license for a tavern in Hanover.

“I think everyone is working on it to make it easier, because it will be lot of income for state of pa once get up and rolling,” Barry added.

It has been projected that a possible 2,000 Pennsylvania taverns could apply.
Adams County tavern becomes first to get small games of chance in Pa.

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