Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board lowers license fee for tavern gaming licenses

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The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) on July 30 unanimously voted to lower the license fee of a Tavern Gaming License from $2,000 to $500.

The move resulted from a recent legislative change that allowed the PLCB to drop the license fee to a minimum of $500. The new fee structure applies to all new Tavern Gaming License applicants and to three applicants who have yet to pay the license fee.

“The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board understands the legislative intent to increase the number of Tavern Gaming Licenses issued. More licenses means more revenue for the commonwealth,” said PLCB chairman Joseph E. “Skip” Brion. “The board is happy to lower the license fee in an effort to encourage more tavern owners to apply.”

Here’s how the Tavern Gaming License process works: An applicant submits an application packet along with $2,000. This nonrefundable application fee will not change. One thousand dollars remains with the PLCB for processing and $1,000 goes to the Pennsylvania Gaming Commission for a background investigation. After a successful background investigation is complete, the application goes before the PLCB.

If the PLCB approves the application, the licensee must pay a fee to receive the license. This is the license fee that was changed Wednesday. By statute, the license fee goes directly to the commonwealth’s General Fund. It does not go to the PLCB.

“We have heard what the legislators have said regarding their desire to make the Tavern Gaming License process more affordable for applicants. It is their belief that, by lowering the license fee, the commonwealth will get more tavern owners to apply for tavern gaming licenses. That’s why we took this step today,” said board member Robert Marcus.

As of July 30, there have been 21 Tavern Gaming Licenses issued. Three applicants were approved by the PLCB and will receive their licenses once they pay the new, lower license fee. Two other applications are being processed and investigated.

“The PLCB remains willing to work with the Legislature to streamline and improve the Tavern Gaming License application process,” said board member Tim Holden.

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