Lawmakers in the state of Pennsylvania have been focusing on the gaming industry as a way to make money to assist with the budget shortfall. A number of options for legislation have been considered including allowing online casino and poker gaming, adding slot games to local airports and more. One way in which lawmakers thought they could make money was with 24/7 alcohol sales.
Casinos already offer liquor sales from 6am until 2am. Lawmakers thought it would be a good idea to pass legislation that would allow for liquor sales 24 hours a day. Casinos might have been open to this proposition if the licensing fee was not $1 million.
Casinos who wanted to offer such liquor sales would have to pay $1 million for the option and then pay this amount each year for four years. After four years, the amount would go down to $250,000. It has been weeks since the option was legalized and none of the 12 casinos in the state have come forward to apply for licensing.
Officials of several casinos have shown that they are not interested due to the fact that allowing alcohol for an extended period of time could have damaging effects. Most wouldn’t even want to offer alcohol without the $1 million fee, but none want to pay this amount just to offer the alcohol for four additional hours each day.
Officials are considering changing the legislation to lower the fee to $500,000 but it seems even lowering it to that amount will not make casinos want to apply for the license. If all 12 venues had applied, the state would have automatically earned $12 million with additional monies in the future for the facilities to be able to maintain such licensing.
For now it’s back to the drawing board as legislators must come up with another way in which to use gaming to be able to earn money that is much needed for budget losses.