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By in Latest News Comments Off on PLBTA Testimony: Gaming In Taverns

PLBTA Testimony: Gaming In Taverns

The following testimony was provided on March 26, 2024, by Jim DeLisio in front of the Pennsylvania House Republican Policy Committee. Mr. DeLisio is vice president of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association and president of the York County Tavern Association. He is the owner of the Race Horse Tavern in Thomasville, Pa.


Chairman Kail, Representative Diamond, members of the Committee, good morning. I’m Jim DeLisio, owner of the Race Horse Tavern in Thomasville, York County. I’m also Vice President of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association as well as President of the York County Tavern Association.

With me is Chuck Moran, executive director of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association. Chuck will be available to help answer questions afterwards.

Let me begin by thanking you for inviting the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association to testify today. In the past I’ve enjoyed speaking with this committee on other issues so I’m humbled to be invited back.

Today, we’ll be talking about gaming in taverns with an emphasis on skill games. Gaming in general is a topic that I’ve testified in front of other committees in recent years, and I want everyone here to know that my establishment is one of a few Pennsylvania bars that has an active tavern gaming license. In fact, a license search conducted on March 11, 2024, shows there are only 39 of us with one.

For the sake of comparison, the most recent annual report from the PLCB shows there are slightly more than 11,200 R and H licensees in the state that could be eligible for a tavern gaming license. If you do the math, that’s about one-third of one percent.

As background, the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association was established in 1941 and today represents small business bars, taverns, and licensed restaurants throughout the state. Our perspective comes from the so-called “mom-and-pop” businesses that own either an R, H, or E liquor license. For the most part, we are your local bars, taverns, pubs, and licensed restaurants. We do not actively recruit large chains, grocery stores, or convenience stores that have R licenses.

Based on past Membership studies, about 63 percent of our member’s business is alcohol sales and 37% of sales are from food. Our average member employs about 16 individuals including the owner and family members. They serve less than 4,000 customers every month. If you count the chairs and barstools, throughout my Member establishments, you’ll find less than 100 per establishment.

The Tavern Association has a general position on gaming. We believe our Members should be allowed to offer legal forms of gaming in their establishments to entertain their patrons. That extends from tavern gaming to any other forms of gambling, including VGTs and video skill games.

As you know, small business bars have been hit hard for about the past 8 years. Our financial struggles began in 2017 when Act 166 of 2016 officially went into effect. That act stole an exclusive right that bar owners had … the right to sell six-packs and growlers to go. Act 166 gave beer distributors the right to sell to consumers any amount including amounts below a case down to a growler.

That in combination with other alcohol sale changes through Act 39 drove a stake through the heart of small business bars. Our membership studies show that during that time, 85 percent of our Members saw a decrease in beer sales. And, 30 percent of our Members saw a decrease between 11 and 20 percent. That adds up to thousands of dollars in lost revenue.

Clearly, small business bars became collateral damage of Acts 39 and 166.

We know that was not the intent of the legislature when it passed those bills and Governor Wolf signed them into law. But, you need to know that past legislative actions seriously damaged many small business bars across the state and we hope to work with you to correct the situation.

With revenue dropping as a result of those Acts, bar owners began to look at other options to fill their income void and stay profitable. Bars were locked out of the opportunity to have VGTs in their establishments when truck stops got them. So VGTs were not a legal option, although we wish they were.

That’s when video skill gaming entered the picture – and at least for now, court decisions have declared them not to be slot machines.

I can’t tell you how many skill games are in Pennsylvania bars at this time. That data is not something we collect. Businesses that sell and distribute skill games should have data on how many they’ve put into Pennsylvania.

But I can tell you based upon conversations I’ve had with colleagues at other establishments and across the state, skill games filled at least part of the void. Those with skill games are using the profits to pay bills, upgrade establishments to compete with newer license types, or offer benefits to employees.

We certainly hope this legislature will take action soon to finally put to bed the debate on whether or not skill games are legal, and whether skill games and VGTs should be in Pennsylvania bars. We do, however, need to remember lessons from the past including those from tavern gaming and the current situation with skill games.

First, tavern gaming did not take off and the state did not generate the revenue that it had projected. As mentioned earlier a shockingly low number of licensed establishments chose to offer tavern gaming. Why? There’s little profit after taxes and payment of supplies. I can talk more about that during the Q&A.

Any legislation that you would write to allow skill games and VGTs in bars would need to be careful not to carry a high tax. Also there can’t be a small cut for the bars.

Second, the current distribution of skill games is questionable. Unlike VGTs in truck stops that are regulated and monitored, skill game distributors have put their machines in locations that are easily accessible to anyone including minors.

There are also issues related to security and safety of some locations where these machines have been placed. You probably saw recent news articles out of Philadelphia that indicate the city has taken initial steps to ban skill games. Apparently, players have been robbed after winning.

I’ll conclude by thanking you for the opportunity to represent small business bars, taverns and licensed restaurants today. Chuck and I will be happy to answer any questions you may have at this time and in the future.

By in Latest News Comments Off on POS Scheme Sparks Significant Loss for Restaurant

POS Scheme Sparks Significant Loss for Restaurant

By Tawnya Dinh
Property Claims Representative
Illinois Casualty Company

In this industry, we are always amazed at the new methods criminals can devise to steal money! Recently, I handled an interesting claim that involved employee theft.

The employer’s POS machine had a tab called “On Account” that was not utilized by the business in its regular operations. An employee figured out that they could purchase gift cards “On Account”, then use those gift cards to pay for a customer’s cash order and pocket the cash.

The theft went on for many months and resulted in over $35,000 in stolen funds.

Interestingly, the theft was not detected by the business but was unveiled by the employee, who could not help but brag to a friend who also knew someone at the business. The employee was confronted and eventually confessed.

The business owner was unaware of the “On Account” tab. Once the employee’s theft was discovered, the owner immediately contacted their POS vendor to have the tab removed.

The employee turned out to have a lengthy history of prior criminal activity. This history went undiscovered due to a lack of background checks completed by the business. Unfortunately for the business owner, the Employee Dishonesty limit was insufficient to cover the extent of the theft.

In addition to the importance of having a full understanding of the components of the POS machine, this claim highlights how important it is to conduct background checks as part of your hiring process. With the current labor shortage, it may seem necessary to skip this step and get positions filled. Doing so could cost you and your business a lot more in the end.

Editor’s Note: Illinois Casualty Company is the exclusive preferred vendor of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association for liquor liability insurance. Learn more about ICC by clicking here.

By in Latest News Comments Off on Statement: Yes, Legalize, Regulate, and Expand Gaming Into PaTaverns But Learn From Past Mistakes First

Statement: Yes, Legalize, Regulate, and Expand Gaming Into PaTaverns But Learn From Past Mistakes First

VGTs and Skill Games will help family-owned taverns, bars, and licensed restaurants hurt from losing exclusive six-pack sales

The following is a statement from Chuck Moran, executive director of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association. The statement concerns Governor Shapiro’s 2024 budget address and gaming expansion into bars.

(Harrisburg, February 6, 2024) Today, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro in his annual budget plan indicated his interest to legalize, regulate, and tax skill games that can be found throughout the Keystone State.

Specifically, his plan calls for “A tax of 42 percent on the daily gross gaming revenue from electronic gaming machines that involve an element of skill and are regulated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.” (, page 31).

Legislative leaders from all four caucuses appear to indicate some interest in addressing the skill games issue that has been lingering and has faced legal challenges.

The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association (PaTaverns), founded in 1941, believes the time has come for it to be resolved. Our Association supports gaming expansion into Pennsylvania’s bars, taverns, and licensed restaurants including video gaming terminals (VGTs) and skill games.

But, let’s learn a lesson from the current tavern gaming laws that have been a disaster with so few participating. The tax structure on those games just isn’t attractive, and is a major reason why there is an extremely low number of active tavern gaming licenses … and thus tax revenue from those games. So a 42% tax might not work.

However, there might be a nugget in all of this that could create a win-win situation for Pennsylvania taxpayers and Pennsylvania tavern owners.

It’s very evident that Pennsylvania’s family-owned taverns have struggled since the state took away their exclusive right to sell six-packs of beer to go. A past survey of our members clearly shows how the expansion of six-packs-to-go sales several years ago hurt small businesses bars throughout the state.

Legalizing gaming expansion into bars through VGTs and skill games could help that situation while generating new revenue for the state. There already is precedent through tavern gaming laws that allows gaming in bars where such activities can be closely monitored, regulated, and taxed.

So let’s create a win-win situation for Pennsylvania taxpayers and family-owned PaTaverns by wisely expanding gaming via VGTs and skill games in bars.

PaTaverns thanks Governor Shapiro for raising this issue and supports gaming expansion of VGTs and skill games into Pennsylvania’s bars, taverns, and licensed restaurants.


#     #     #


The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association is the statewide political voice for small business taverns and licensed restaurants. Based in Harrisburg, the Association formed after Prohibition in 1941, reorganized in 2019, and today advocates for best practices and rights within the industry as well as best experiences for patrons. To learn more, visit or follow the Association on Twitter via @TavernPA.

By in Latest News Comments Off on 6 Sweet Ways To Use QR Codes In Your Restaurant

6 Sweet Ways To Use QR Codes In Your Restaurant

By Daniel Rivkees
SpotOn Powered by POS Philly

QR codes are a great tool to help restaurants grow their business, decrease costs, improve guest experience, and streamline restaurant operations. They may have been a major hype during COVID, but QR codes still have their place as an incredibly effective tool for the hospitality industry. More restaurants are utilizing QR codes to bust lines, reduce hardware, improve satisfaction, and increase feedback. Let’s take a look at how QR codes can help your restaurant.

Line Busting
For QSR concepts, place QR codes at the entrance of your restaurant. Accompany the QR codes with signage that prompts customers to skip the line by scanning the QR code to order. Once customers scan the code, they are taken to your online ordering page. Customers can then order through OLO instead of waiting in line. Now, less customers have to wait in line, resulting in increased satisfaction and less work for your front-of-house.

Reduce Hardware
Restaurants may debate whether self-order kiosks are better than QR codes. One reason QR codes are better? Reduced hardware cost and error points. Creating QR codes costs nothing to restaurants other than printing them out. Kiosks can cost a lot of money that a restaurant may not have capital for. Plus, additional hardware can lead to additional failure points. Faulty plugs, switches, and outlets can halt kiosk service. QR code ordering results in less point of failure compared to kiosks.

Open Tab Feature
Some point-of-sale systems have an open tab feature that allows customers to order without a server. With open tab, customers place the order for their first item, enter their payment information, and can continue to order until checkout. At checkout, customers can prompt to close their order and the payment is processed.

A feature like this can help create a decentralized restaurant. Staff can now focus on bringing out food and drink items faster rather than spending time taking orders. Additionally, customers on average upsell themselves more often then when servers try to. This can result in increased sales.

Increase Table Turnover
Using QR code ordering, again, can decrease time servers spend on going back and forth to tables. With reduced time spent on tending to customers, table turnover now has an opportunity to increase. Less time being spent tables means a higher chance for customers to close out more quickly. For busy restaurants, speed of service is the name of the game. More customers served faster can result in new customers being seated quicker. Increasing table turnover by 2 tables an hour with a $50.00 check average during 4 peak hours 3 days a week can mean $62,400.00 in new revenue per year.

Receive Google Reviews
There are other great ways to use QR codes in your business. Receiving Google Reviews should be a priority for every restaurant. Restaurants with hundreds of Google Reviews are more trustworthy than ones with a few. Create a QR code that sends customers to your Google Business Profile and ask them to leave a review. This can be programmed at the footer of receipts, the entrance of your restaurant, and on menus.

Follow On Social Media
Prompt customers to follow you on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok. Create QR codes that drive people to your social media profiles. Keep them up to date with specials, events, and new menu items. Customers that interact with your business online are more likely to convert into recurring or new business.

Editor’s Note: POS Philly is a preferred vendor of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association. Contact POS Philly to implement QR codes properly throughout your restaurant. Increase revenue. Decrease costs. Improve guest satisfaction. Streamline restaurant operations. Their team is there to help you with local SpotOn Restaurant POS service and support in the NJ, PA, DE region. To learn more visit

By in Latest News Comments Off on Does Your Insurance Cover Axe Throwing?

Does Your Insurance Cover Axe Throwing?

By Annie Stontz, Illinois Casualty Company

Axe throwing has become an increasingly popular activity, and many venues have begun catering to this interest. As most of these businesses combine the activity with serving food and alcohol, Illinois Casualty Company’s Underwriters have been receiving questions about whether there is coverage for this.

Most people could understand our concern over the risk that comes with combining alcohol consumption and axe throwing. As the activity has become more popular, we are seeing an increase in mobile axe throwing businesses that offer to bring the sport to a bar or restaurant.

If your bar/restaurant hires a mobile axe throwing business that can provide proof of insurance, will that be enough to protect your business?

There are a few things to consider before offering this activity at your bar/restaurant.

  • Is this a one-time event or will it be a regular recurring activity?
  • Will the activity take place on your premises or be contained and controlled by the axe throwing vendor?
  • If this is a recurring event and your bar/restaurant has facilities in place, what controls are there to prevent axe throwing at times other than when the vendor is present to supervise?
  • Does the vendor’s current GL coverage have limits equal to or exceeding that of your policy?

It is highly recommended that you have your attorney review the contract with the vendor. The agreement should clearly make the vendor liable for all injuries resulting from any axe throwing activity and contain “hold harmless” language for your business.

Even if all the boxes are checked, there can still be scenarios where a suit brings your business into the claim. The allegations for an “injury” can be based on negligence, intoxication, or both. The injured party can be a participant or a spectator.

How the claim or suit is presented determines which policy applies and whether you can tender the defense to the vendor. As with many situations like this, the more serious the “injury”, the more aggressively creative plaintiffs get, and the more difficult it is to remove your business from liability.

Understanding the issues will help you determine the extent of the risk you are willing to accept.


Editor’s Note: Illinois Casualty Company is the exclusive preferred vendor of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association for liability insurance products. Qualifying PLBTA Members can save up to 10% on their businessowners and liquor liability insurance. For more information about insuring your business with ICC, visit and talk to an ICC agent in your area.

By in Latest News Comments Off on Decoration and Electrical Safety for the Holiday Season

Decoration and Electrical Safety for the Holiday Season

Photo by Dietmar Rabich, Wikimedia Commons

by Vince Mayer, Loss Control Specialist
Illinois Casualty Company

Many business owners believe that putting up decorations will create a warm and inviting atmosphere that will draw in customers and increase profits throughout the holiday season. Until the 19th Century, it was customary to attach small candles to tree branches with pins or melted wax. Thankfully, this tradition (and extreme fire hazard) is no longer popular. There are still a number of risks that come with putting up lights, garland, trees, and inflatable decorations in and around your business. Here are a few tips to help you decorate safely this year and decrease your risk of electrical fires.

  • Plan ahead for a safe holiday season – make one person responsible for overseeing the decorating at your business.
  • Most cities do not allow the use of real trees, wreaths, or decorations made from them to be used inside commercial buildings because of their extreme fire hazard. Likewise, electric lights should not be placed on metal trees as there could be a potential shock hazard. Check with your local authorities on their requirements before starting your decorating.
  • Check all lighting cords and light sockets for any damaged or frayed wires and/or broken or damaged light sockets and discard them.
  • Check all lights and decorations to see if they are approved for outdoor use or indoor use only. If you are purchasing new lights or decorations, make sure they are UL approved. Never use interior type items outdoors.
  • Keep use of extension cords to a minimum and only use the appropriate listed extension cords for exterior use.
  • Follow the instructions on connecting consecutive lighting sets to avoid exceeding the maximum allowed.
  • Do not plug all of your decorations into the same outlet to avoid overloading the circuit.
  • Turn off or unplug lights and decorations when they are not in use.
  • Keep all cords off floors and walkways where possible. Walking on cords breaks down the insulation on the wires leading to short circuits and potential fires. Never tape cords to floors or hide under carpets or mats. Do not run cords across sidewalks or steps to prevent tripping.
  • Never run cords through doorways or windows where the cords can be pinched, as this can significantly damage the cords and may lead to fires.
  • All decorations should be kept away from any heat sources and must not block or cover any exit signage or emergency lighting. Keep exits and stairways clear at all times.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!


Editor’s Note. Illinois Casualty Company is the exclusive preferred vendor for businessowners and liquor liability insurance for the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association. Qualifying Members can save up to 10% on their businessowners and liquor liability insurance. To locate an ICC agent in your area, visit

By in Latest News Comments Off on Taverns Tip: Are You Using Your POS for Marketing?

Taverns Tip: Are You Using Your POS for Marketing?

By Daniel Rivkees
POS Philly

Point-Of-Sale systems are a vital component of any bar’s operations. POS has taken the role of bar’s central nervous system. This is where voluntary and involuntary commands are hailed from the front-of-house to back-of-house and beyond. Over the past several years, POS developers have augmented their products’ range. One of the most important developments: turning a POS system into a marketing machine.

POS developers are releasing marketing tools to reach customers. This includes integrated email platforms, SMS text marketing, and digital review management. Bar owners need to think of their POS system as central to their marketing rather than a simple order taking device. POS marketing tools can centralize efforts and streamline campaigns.

Staying in front of customers is a top priority for any business, especially bars. With so much competition, barkeepers need to focus on keeping their loyal customers coming back and how to incentivize new ones to return. Promoting deals like happy hour with in-restaurant posters is one way of accomplishing this. There are better, modern ways of marketing your business through your POS system.

Email Marketing  
Reaching customers via email is possible in more POS software packages. Instead of using a costly 3rd party email platform, utilize your POS system’s email marketing tools. Using in-house, non 3rd party software makes managing email campaigns easier. A POS email marketing platform can cut email marketing management time in half and reduce costs as well.

It’s legitimate to ask, “how can I collect emails for marketing?” Great point. Products like SpotOn POS can collect emails from a few places.

  1. Require guests using a guest Wi-Fi access point to input email information.
  2. Use emails from customer loyalty program.
  3. Ask customers to subscribe to an email list.
  4. Collect emails from online ordering.

SMS Text Marketing 

Let’s take the next step and discuss text messaging. Customers are even more likely to return to a bar if they interact with text message marketing. Texting customers with a short code (six digits) or long code (ten digits) phone number with deals and specials can incentivize recurring business. Use text message marketing to let loyalty customers know about exclusive deals. Notify customers of upcoming live music, beer specials, and more.

Digital Review Management   

Another major way to use a POS system for marketing is syncing digital reviews. First impressions can be everything, especially to new potential customers. Answering and responding to Google, Yelp, and Facebook reviews can mean bringing in or turning away new business. SpotOn POS has a digital review module to sync major review platforms into its back-office software. This can help cut down on time managing reviews by reducing logins.

Are you asking, “Is my point-of-sale helping bring in new customers?” See how your POS provider can help you utilize its tools to create new revenue. Contact us at POS Philly if you would like to explore ways to reach more customers. We’re here to help all PA Taverns members 365 days a year.

Editor’s Note: POS Philly is a preferred vendor of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association.

By in Latest News Comments Off on Flaming Drinks and Food Are Never a Good Idea

Flaming Drinks and Food Are Never a Good Idea

By Paul Worzella, SCLA
Liability Claims Supervisor
Illinois Casualty Company

Fire is used by many people as part of leisure activities and for entertainment. Occasionally, businesses in the hospitality industry have incorporated the use of fire to add to the experience and ambiance of their establishment by serving flaming drinks or food, such as flaming shots, bananas foster, crepes Suzette, or individual tableside hibachis.

Unlike some policies, ICC does not exclude claims resulting from the service of these products. However, in many cases we will advise the business to discontinue the practice. If they choose not to stop the service, Underwriting may decide not to insure that business.

Serving flaming drinks or food has the potential of resulting in serious injury to customers. Bad burns are among the most painful types of injury and may include permanent scarring as well as long-term anxiety and emotional issues. ICC has experienced a number of premises liability claims resulting from flaming foods or drinks. Typically, in those claims, the flaming drink or food was sloshed or spilled onto a customer, or liquor, used to fuel the flames, left its container, and the flames followed.

Consider this scenario
You and your family are on a much-needed vacation. You, your spouse, and your young child are hungry, so you stop at a local restaurant to have lunch. Since the weather is nice, you decide to eat outside. Before you order your meal, you both decide that you want to try their specialty drink called the Flaming Dr. Pepper. As the waitress brings your drinks to the table, she trips over a chair leg and spills the flaming drinks on your young child, burning her face and hands with second-degree burns. Not only that, but the restaurant’s wood deck now catches on fire due to the flaming alcohol. The fire spreads quickly and burns the restaurant to the ground. Your vacation is over in an instant as you rush your child to the Emergency Room for treatment. Could this scenario have been prevented? Absolutely.

Although ICC does not exclude claims like this one, it is not our intent to insure businesses that serve flaming food and drinks.

Regardless of insurability, if an establishment chooses to serve flaming items, there are some recommended safety considerations to protect customers and employees:

  • Prepare the drinks or food away from the customers, preferably in the kitchen or behind the bar.
  • Make sure lit drinks are filled below the rim to prevent the drink from spilling and spreading the flame.
  • Have a server lead the bartender or cook to the table to clear a path and help deliver the food or drink safely.
  • Refrain from serving flaming drinks or food outside, as seeing a flame on a sunny day is more challenging. If it is windy, the flame could be blown onto a flammable object, like a napkin, potentially causing property damage and injury.

In our experience, these types of claims are costly to settle, and often, the business is held liable for the injuries sustained. While the excitement of flaming drinks and food may draw attention to the business, those same drinks and food can cause irreversible damage. To avoid the risk, it is best to leave these items off the menu.


Editor’s Note: This story ran in the August 2023 edition of Pennsylvania Beverage Media, the official monthly magazine of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association. Illinois Casualty Company is the exclusive preferred vendor for liquor liability insurance. Qualifying Members can save up to 10% on their businessowners and liquor liability insurance. To find out more about our insurance programs and to locate an agent in your area, visit


By in Latest News Comments Off on Enjoying the Benefits and Managing the Risks of Bar Crawls

Enjoying the Benefits and Managing the Risks of Bar Crawls

(Wikimedia Photo: Beer-on-tap by JMacPherson)

by Annie Stontz, Marketing Representative, and Avalon Thomas-Roebal, Marketing Representative/West Team Leader

When Illinois Casualty Company (ICC) began offering liquor liability coverage in 1950, our bread and butter became small town taverns sprinkled throughout Midwestern communities. One common event for these taverns is a bar crawl. These events are especially popular during spring and summer months and can be better controlled with just a few simple steps.

Bar crawls can bring quick business and introduce new clientele to an establishment, but they also increase the risk of a liquor liability loss. ICC is committed to educating our insureds on safe operational practices to keep these well-loved establishments running for years to come.

Before her time in Marketing, Annie Stontz owned and operated a bar in her Illinois hometown for eight years, and managed others for over twenty. Coupled with her expertise in liquor liability, Annie shares her valuable insight on hosting a safe and enjoyable bar crawl.

What should bars look for when allowing a bar crawl to stop at their premises?

CARD HARD! ID all patrons, and do not rely on wristbands provided by the crawl. It is your responsibility to ID at your establishment. Take extra notice of younger patrons who are attempting to have an older individual buy them drinks. You reserve the right to refuse service or even to ask those patrons to leave.

Occasionally, bar owners will be notified that their bar is on a crawl route. When this happens, you should find out the approximate number of attendees and timeframe patrons are expected. Staffing adequately, stocking up on popular items, and having glassware clean will free up time to focus on responsible serving practices when crawlers arrive.

Another trick I used was to keep lights off the lowest setting. By brightening up the place a bit, I had better views of the crowd.

If possible, move and/or cover pool tables. This will open up floor space and keep your equipment safe.

Bar crawl events can be a long day of boozy enjoyment. What should bars do to keep patrons participating safely?

Very rarely did I offer drink specials for these events. When I did receive notice of an event, I always made sure to have food of some sort. Nacho bars and deli trays can help slow down drinking and get food in patron’s systems. If your establishment offers food, it is a good opportunity to let the kitchen shine and run a food special.

I also kept water and iced tea out for people to pour themselves, saving me time at the bar and providing an easy access, non-alcoholic option.

My biggest advice is to engage with as many patrons as possible. This will help you notice who may be agitated, overserved, or needs extra eyes on them. Walk the floor and check for spills, broken bottles, or other issues you can fix quickly.

What about those times when you don’t know large groups are coming? What mistakes should be avoided when they come in all at once?

Try to avoid feeling rushed and thinking you don’t have time to card everyone that needs to be. It’s important to observe the crowd and notice anyone that may have already been overserved.

Be cognizant not to overpour and use plastic cups whenever possible. Do not allow all-you-can-drink wristbands or bottomless cup/keg specials.

ICC is a specialty food and beverage carrier. What makes us stand out as the carrier who knows this niche?

ICC offers free OnTAP alcohol server training to our insureds and a wide variety of in-person and online classes through our safety education partner, Katkin. These courses highlight responsible serving practices for bar owners, managers, bartenders, and even security personnel.

I know from running my own bar that crawls or bike nights would sometimes utilize extended areas outside of my establishment, like spilling over into an adjoining parking lot. ICC broadens the definition of “your premises” to provide liability coverage to these areas.

When it comes to these events, the only thing you can control is your service to patrons. You have no control over the amount of alcohol they consume on a party bus or at stops prior to coming in or after leaving your bar.

Utilizing and saving security camera footage during these events is imperative if a claim does occur. ICC strongly encourages the use of camera footage and provides premium relief to insureds who protect their business by doing so.

Editor’s Note: Illinois Casualty Company (ICC) is the exclusive preferred liquor liability insurance for the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association. Qualifying Members can save up to 10% on their businessowners and liquor liability insurance. To find out more about our insurance programs and to locate an agent in your area, visit

By in Latest News, Uncategorized Comments Off on Statement: PaHouse passes HB 1160

Statement: PaHouse passes HB 1160

The following is a statement from Chuck Moran, executive director of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association. The statement concerns HB 1160, a bill related to off-premise catering permits.

(Harrisburg, June 20, 2023) Today, the Pennsylvania House passed HB 1160 by a 202-1 vote. The bill now heads to the Senate.

This bill, sponsored by Rep. Napoleon Nelson, helps many family-owned taverns, bars, and licensed restaurants increase revenue opportunities as they work to recover from years of bad news.

In part, HB 1160 allows liquor licensees with off-premise catering permits to hold an unlimited number of off-premise catering events beyond 2024. Currently, Act 87 of 2021 sunsets at the end of 2024. If allowed to sunset, the state would revert back to outdated liquor code that limits the number of off-premise catering events. Rep. Nelson’s bill removes the sunset date among other things.

The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association fully supports this bill as it passed the House today.

For several years now, it’s been a financially difficult time for family-owned taverns, bars, and licensed restaurants. First, the industry lost the exclusive right to sell six-packs to go, resulting in significant loss of revenue. This was followed by pandemic restrictions that closed indoor dining. Then recovery efforts were hampered by supply chain issues, inflation, and a lack of workers.

Passing HB 1160 to help these businesses was the right thing to do. We hope the State Senate agrees and will move the bill in a timely manner.

The PLBTA thanks Rep. Nelson for his work on this bill, and the efforts of all House Members who provided support.


# # #

The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association is the statewide political voice for small business taverns and licensed restaurants. Based in Harrisburg, the Association formed after Prohibition in 1941, reorganized in 2019, and today advocates for best practices and rights within the industry as well as best experiences for patrons. To learn more, visit or follow the Association on Twitter via @TavernPA.

Earlier this year, the PLBTA produced a Tavern Talk news video about this issue and Rep. Nelson’s interest to help. You can watch that video by clicking here.