State Law Makes Long Odds On Bazaars’ Financial Success

 

Dave  Hourigan,  President  of  the  Mountaintop  Hose  Co.  No.  1,  is  worried

 about  his  fire  company’s  upcoming  40th  Bazaar  set  for  July  19,  20

 and  21.

Sure,  there  are  worries  every  year  about  the  weather,  logistics,  personnel

 and  profits  – but  this  year  is

 different.  This  year  he  is  worried  about  the  Pennsylvania  Small  Games  Of

 Chance  law,  and  the  changes  it  brings  to  fire  companies’  fundraising  tactics.

“It’s  huge,”  Hourigan  says  of  the  laws  impact  on  the  money-maker  of

 kiddie  games.  He  explains  that  revisions  of  the  PA  SGOC  law  in  1988,

 and  2012,  and  the  subsequent  publicity  and  education  by  enforcement

 agency,  the  PA  Liquor  Control  Bureau,  have  Hourigan  questioning

 the  logic  of  even  holding  the  bazaar.

 In  a  letter  sent  to  Sen.  Lisa  Baker  and  Rep.  John  Yudichak,  Dave  calls  the  law  “crushing,”  and  states  that  it,

 “severely  impacts  our  ability  to  legally  conduct  the  bazaar.”

The  difficulties  will  result  in  changes  to  the  preparations  for  the  event,

 the  responsibilities  on  the  company  and  its  volunteer  staff,  and  the

 record  keeping  and  reporting  afterward.

“I  am  very  concerned  about  the  loss  of  revenue  here,  this  could  easily  add

 up  to  a  loss  of  $10,000  over  the  weekend,”  he  says.  New  raffle  tickets  and

 basket  auction  tickets  must  be  printed  with  complete  licensing  information,  adding  hundreds  of  dollars

 to  the  cost  of  materials.  Add  to  that  the  extra  efforts  of  recording  and

 retaining  every  instant  bingo  winner  of  50  cents  or  more,  and  other  new

 bookkeeping  mandates  and  the  volunteer  group  is  stretched  to  its  limit.

 These  prohibitions  are  complicated,  (

the  state’s  power-point  summary  of  the

 law  runs  to  132  pages!),  but  the  harshest  aspects  relate  to  the  most  popular  – and  previously  profitable  - games

 on  the  

See State Law page 4