HARRISBURG – State Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33) recently introduced legislation that would temporarily suspend Small Games of Chance regulations for non-profit clubs in Pennsylvania.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, clubs – such as local veterans’ and charitable organizations – have been shut down, as they are not considered “life sustaining businesses” according to the Wolf administration.
After clubs are permitted to reopen, Senate Bill 1143 would allow the organizations to utilize funding generated from Small Games of Chance to offset operating costs.
“Unfortunately, the impact of the coronavirus has resulted in mandatory closures for these important clubs, which will undoubtedly impact their charitable work,” said Mastriano. “Without any income, many clubs are concerned about being able to pay bills. My legislation will help the state’s non-profit clubs combat the financial difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic, and temporarily suspend the regulations to help clubs underwrite their operating costs.”
The legislation was assigned to the Senate Community, Economic & Recreational Development Committee.
Currently, there is no timetable for when clubs may be allowed to reopen.
Per state law, clubs are required to donate 60 percent of their intake from Small Games of Chance toward charitable endeavors. Mastriano’s legislation would temporarily suspend the mandate, and allow clubs to utilize 100 percent of the revenue toward operating costs such as rent, mortgage, maintenance, utilities and payroll.
“It is my hope that this important piece of legislation enables clubs to overcome the financial difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mastriano. “There is no doubt in my mind that once clubs have regained their financial footing, they will continue their important charitable work in our communities.”
The suspension would be lifted 90 days after the Governor’s emergency declaration is terminated. After the 90-day period sunsets, the 60/40 rule would go back into effect.
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