By Tony Romeo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A key state Senator says he’s giving up on the prospect that small games of chance in Pennsylvania taverns will generate anything close to the $100-million in revenue projected by Governor Corbett in his proposed budget for the new fiscal year.
Governor Corbett in November signed the bill allowing taverns to apply for licenses to offer pull tabs, raffles and daily drawings.
In February, during budget hearings before the Senate Appropriations Committee chaired by Republican Jake Corman, it was revealed that just six taverns had applied for licenses. Two months later, the Liquor Control Board has issued just seven licenses, and a mere 15 applications are in the process of being reviewed.
Corman says he still believes taverns have an appetite for games:
“Look, the tavern industry lobbied heavy to get it. I just think they were intimidated by the process.”
But Corman adds that lawmakers will have to make changes, including the elimination of the link between a tavern’s gaming license and its liquor license:
“If you have a small mistake on a small games of chance license, which is a small dollar thing, that could go after their liquor license as well. And I think that scares these folks.”
Corman says he’s not sure how quickly lawmakers can make necessary changes.