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
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
See State Law page 4