Corbett Holds Ceremonial Signing For Small Games Of Chance Bill

John Micek
Allentown Morning Call

The cards and letters asking for help for school and community projects come all the time. And Pete Wasco says he wishes he could grant every request. Thanks to a new state law, he says he can maybe answer more of them.

“This is a long time coming,” Wasco, the past commander of American Legion Post No. 143 in New Cumberland, Cumberland County said Monday as Gov. Tom Corbett affixed his ceremonial signature to a bill allowing Wasco’s group and other charitable organizations to pay out bigger prizes on the small games of chance they use to raise money for community efforts.

Corbett actually signed the bill on Feb. 2 and it took effect on March 3. But the Republican used the Legion post as a backdrop to highlight legislation that supporters say will help maintain the income from the games that communities facing tight budgets have now come to depend upon.

“This will allow them to raise more money for charitable purposes,” he said.

Under the law, weekly prize limits were increased from $5,000 to $25,000 and the individual prize limit was increased from $500 to $1,000. Clubs may use up to 30 percent of the proceeds from small games for their operating expenses.

“We do have tight times now in our communities,” the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Sheryl DeLozier, R-Cumberland, said of the cuts in state and local funding that have forced these community groups to step into the breach. “We have asked our community organizations to step up and they have.”

The new law also tightens disclosure requirements and it overhauls rules for raffles by fire and rescue companies.

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