State delays for one year new reporting requirements on small games of chance

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HARRISBURG -- New reporting requirements that accompanied increased prize limits for small games of chance have been delayed one year as the state examines whether the record-keeping would unduly burden local clubs.

Critics have said the new requirements -- such as reporting the total amount won each week, recording the names and addresses of participants winning more than $100 and withholding income taxes on winnings -- would raise the operating costs of fraternal organizations that raise money through small-scale gambling.

The law is intended to make small games of chance more lucrative for the clubs through measures like raising the limits on individual winnings from $500 per game to $1,000 and total weekly prize limits from $5,000 to as much as $25,000.

Kit Watson, adjutant of the Pennsylvania American Legion, said games like raffles and pull-tabs are a big part of fundraising at posts. The statewide organization has held seminars across the state on the new rules.

"There's an awful lot of requirements for big and small clubs to do an awful lot more paperwork," he said. "I believe the requirements are to try to head off any misappropriations. In doing so I think they've gone way overboard."

The Department of Revenue made the decision after receiving a letter from state Sens. Tim Solobay, D-Canonsburg, and Richard Kasunic, D-Dunbar, asking the administration to postpone the Feb. 1 deadline for organizations to file reports, said agency spokeswoman Elizabeth Brassell.

The agency had the authority to delay the reporting requirements because the law does not specify when they must begin, Ms. Brassell said.

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Karen Langley: or 717-787-2141


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