House Bill 1690 Passed to Governor Wolf:
In a surprising move today, the House passed HB 1690 which was amended by the Senate and passed back to the House this past December, 2015.
FULL SUMMARY WILL BE SENT TOMORROW TO ALL MEMBERS
Here is a list of items directly affecting you in the bill that will be explained further as regulations are created in this report:
First, our hotel and restaurant members will now be able to sell wine-to-go with an expanded wine permit. This would enable you to sell up to 4 bottles of wine or equal amount in a different package (based wine, etc). This will require a permit that will be created by the PLCB with the initial cost of $2k.
Secondly, our E license holders will now be able to convert their licenses to “R” licenses with a fee of $30k and approval of the PLCB board.
The bill allows our members to have legitimate “Mug Clubs”. This would entitle the licensee to charge an annual fee to members of the club. The members of this club would use the designated drinking containers decided upon by the licensee to be served discounted malt or brewed beverages available only to members. It is important to note that this does not impact your Happy Hours or daily specials.
Special liquor order mark-ups will be reduced to 10% instead of 20%. You may also order SLOs through a licensed importer or licensed vendor and avoid having to pick up at a State Store which would allow you to avoid a bottle handling fee to be added. This feature would be implemented by January 1, 2017. However, the Board does have the ability to apply restrictions.
Catering off-premise permits will now allow 52 events a year rather then 50. The PLCB will also have the ability to approve a catering off-premise application after the current March 1st deadline.
Delivery of State Store orders is allowed in the language by licensed vendors or importers to our establishments.
Management companies would be able to supervise all or part of the operations of a licensed premises with application and approval from the PLCB.
Video Gaming Terminal Update:
A bi-partisan press conference was given today led by Representative Mustio and Representative Costa. It was met with enthusiasm and support for VGT’s in your establishments. The omnibus amendment was not yet complete so the vote for the bill was not held today. Please stay tuned in to your emails as legislation is obviously moving very quickly in Harrisburg and can happen at any moment.
Please keep calling your legislators and asking them to vote YES for VGT’s.