House passes Siptroth-backed bill to help nonprofit civic groups


HARRISBURG, May 5 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Tuesday passed legislation supported by state Rep. John Siptroth, D-Monroe/Pike, that would expand small games of chance for nonprofit civic organizations.

House Bill 169 would change Pennsylvania’s small games of chance law to increase the prize limit for daily drawings and raffles from $500 to $1,000; increase weekly prize limits from $5,000 to $25,000; allow eligible nonprofit organizations to hold monthly drawings as well as multiple daily drawings; and allow organizations to use some of what they take in through small games of chance for operating expenses.

“Civic organizations throughout Monroe and Pike counties and the rest of the state are struggling financially,” Siptroth said. “Not only are they having trouble covering their expenses, but have little left over for the community projects they provide that enhance the lives of so many people across the Commonwealth. This bill would give them a boost.”

The types of organizations affected by the bill would include volunteer fire companies, veterans’ organizations, religious groups, and civic and service clubs.

The Pennsylvania Local Option Small Games of Chance Act was enacted in 1988 to allow certain nonprofit organizations to conduct small games of chance for the purpose of raising funds for public interest purposes. Siptroth said it has not been updated to reflect the growing needs of civic organizations.

H.B. 169, which passed the House on a bipartisan 166-24 vote, now moves to the state Senate for consideration.

(Source: Office of State Rep. John Siptroth)