HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa.– Legilsation by Rep. Kate Klunk to modernize Pennsylvania’s antiquated Bingo Law was unanimously approved by the House Gaming Oversight Committee today and will head to the full House for a vote.
“House Bill 411 would help nonprofit organizations that rely on bingo games by increasing the prize limits and giving them improved ways to reach players,” Klunk said. “I am thrilled my colleagues on the House Gaming Oversight Committee shared my view that we must make Pennsylvania’s Bingo Law better. Pennsylvania enacted its Bingo Law in 1981 and it has remained largely untouched since.”
This new legislation would increase prize limits from $250 to $500 for any one game of bingo; from $2,000 to $4,000 for jackpot games; and from $4,000 to $8,000 for total amounts of prizes awarded in a calendar day. By increasing the prize limits, it allows organizations to increase cash flow to community initiatives.
Currently, a quirk in the law forbids organizations from advertising the dollar value of cash prizes.
Now, Klunk’s bill would remove that and allow organizations to advertise bingo on the internet and via social media.
“The provision that allows for internet and social media advertising will help organizations catch up with ever-evolving technology,” Klunk said. “With so many people using social media to stay on top of local happenings, this is a commonsense approach to reach more potential players.”
Klunk’s bill would also remove restrictions on the number of days a licensed association may conduct bingo games, permit pre-draw bingo and allow new members of a licensed association to assist in bingo games. This would allow for guest callers, opening up the possibility that local celebrities could call numbers during games.
The legislation also includes a provision that would allow a volunteer fire company created from the merger of two or more companies to be immediately eligible for a bingo license. Under current law, fire companies created by mergers have to wait two years before becoming eligible.
Klunk’s previous bingo bill from last session passed the House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support, but the Senate failed to act on it.