Senate hearing discusses importance of skill games revenue

© Pennsylvania Gaming Commission

The Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee held a hearing on Wednesday to discuss the importance of revenue from skill games.

Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Bradford), a member of the committee, sponsored Senate Bill 706. The bill would establish a regulatory framework and taxing structure on skill video games.

All games would be required to be connected to a terminal collection and control system that allows state officials to monitor transactions and ensure taxes are accrued and paid. A limited number of machines would be permitted per establishment, and a valid ID would be required to play.

The bill also would strengthen penalties for those who operate unlicensed and illegal games and gambling devices.

Testifiers included Mary Jo Bishop, owner of Steggie’s Bar; Commander Stephen Holmes of American Legion Post 733; and Tom Olewick, a volunteer firefighter.

“If you want to know why skill games are important, look no further than today’s panel of testifiers,” Yaw said. “We heard from supporters from all walks of life on the importance of the revenue they provide. Skill games are critical to helping these organizations pay their staff, pay their bills, maintain their establishments, and pay for donations that help their communities.”

This was the second hearing this week on the topic.