Revisions to small games bill passes House

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A bill designed to bring relief to fire companies, social service organizations and small clubs that depend on small games of chance was passed in the state House Wednesday.


House Bill 290 changes the Small Games of Chance Act that was slated to go into effect the first of this month.


It was supported by local lawmakers including Rep. Peter Daley, D-California, who championed the bill, along with Rep. Brandon Neuman, D-Canonsburg, Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Waynesburg, and Rep. Jesse White, D-Cecil.


The bill still needs to be approved by the state Senate.


In September, Daley reported receiving numerous calls from fire companies or social service organizations about how difficult it was going to be to raise funds under the new bill.


It would have forced organizations to contribute 70 percent of gaming proceeds for “public interest purposes, place limits on what could be used for general operating expenses, make organizations report small winnings of $100 or more to the state, keep records of the names and addresses of any winner, and withhold and remit income taxes on winnings.”


Daley thanked the governor and Republican members for their bipartisan support for the bill which repealed much of Act 2 of 2012.


The bill was approved by a 186-10 vote.


“Act 2 was rushed to judgment, harmed countless constituents and such a debacle should never occur again,” said Daley who reported 35,000 supports on an online petition he launched last year to overturn the measure.


Provisions of the bill clarifies which organizations can retain proceeds for charitable purposes and allows for “Night at the Races” poker runs, social card games and Texas Hold’em tournaments.


It also enables organizations making less than $40,000 to retain the money for operating expenses.


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