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Pennsylvania Auditor General Says Fix Wine Kiosks Or Pull The Plug

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) - With the program floundering due to a host of problems, Pennsylvania’s auditor general says the Liquor Control Board needs to make dramatic improvements to its wine kiosks in supermarkets – or pull the plug on the experiment.

Auditor General Jack Wagner – who opposes liquor sale privatization but strongly favors modernization – says the wine kiosk program was a good faith effort at the latter.

“We do commend the PLCB for trying to be innovative,” Wagner said. “To our knowledge, there is no other such program ever tried in the United States of America.”

But Wagner says the LCB needs to make quick, radical improvements to the program or scrap it. His auditors found that from October through December of last year, there was a problem with one in every 21 kiosk transactions. And he says the manufacturer of the machines is out about $14 million in the venture.

On top of that, the LCB says the manufacturer owes the state more than a million dollars and that the kiosk program will end if contract issues are not addressed by mid-September.

Reported by Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio

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