The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage & Tavern Association Legislator of the Month
April 2015: Representative John Payne (R)
Chairman of House Gaming Committee
Since I was elected to the House of Representatives in 2002, I have served as a member of the House Liquor Control Committee. In this role, I have voted on behalf of bars, taverns, and restaurants on issues, such as “cork and carry” regulations, privatization of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, off-premise catering and license expansion.
This session, I was appointed Chairman of the House Gaming Oversight Committee. This commit- tee oversees slot machine gaming, bingo, small games of chance, amusement laws and table games in Pennsylvania, which can also have a direct impact on liquor and beer licenses. I have made it a priority to work directly with business owners and industry representatives to ensure their interests are taken into consideration.
At a recent hearing of The Gaming Committee, I was appalled to hear testimony from an Adams County tavern owner about the time, paperwork and cost involved in applying for a tavern gaming license. As we consider opportunities to improve the gaming industry in our Commonwealth, I am committed to making this process more business-friendly and leveling the playing field for all licensees. While we must have the necessary safeguards in place, it is important government does not burden business owners with overly complex and unfair requirements.
We are specifically looking at lowering the application fee, streamlining background check requirements and ensuring gaming violations are counted against an establishment’s gaming license instead of its liquor license. Your days are demanding enough without adding hours worth of paperwork and hoops to jump through.
I want to thank you for weighing in on issues with the tavern gaming law. I hope we can continue to work together closely to ensure Pennsylvania’s gaming industry improves and our bars, taverns, private clubs and restaurants all have the ability to grow and prosper.