Voters will decide on small games of chance in part of Lancaster County this primary election

WEST HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP, LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. -- Next Tuesday, voters in one part of Lancaster County will decide on whether to allow small games of chance to take place in their township.

People who live in West Hempfield Township can vote yes or no on the issue during the Pennsylvania Primary Election.

Small games of chance, meaning the raffles or drawings, where outcome is based on probability, not skill.

It's the types of games many people already see at baseball games and fire houses in Lancaster County.

When it comes to small games of chance in West Hempfield Township, Tara Ney will vote yes.

"It could benefit... we have a lot of schools around here and within the township, a lot of other organizations," she said.

She has a special relationship with West Hempfield Fire And Rescue; she's the chief's wife.

"Things break down. We still have bills like every other department, every other house," explained Ney.

She believes the money brought in from small games of chance could pay some of those bills.

"We do our annual drives so people obviously think that helps, and that does. It brings in a lot of money, but people don't realize the little things we have to bring in," added Ney.

"I mean, there is a lot of good," said Matthew Acker, deputy treasurer for Lancaster County.

Acker says a yes vote could potentially give a wide range of non-profit groups the eligibility to apply for small games of chance licenses, including: educational, religious, humane, philanthropic, and civic groups.

"There is a lot of organizations out there that are trying to survive and trying to look at alternate ways of making money," explained Acker.

A majority of municipalities in Lancaster County already allow small games of chance.

"Over 2/3 of the municipalities have already approved game of chance licenses... so we keep chipping away, at the other third," added Acker.

Pull tab games, punchboards, raffles, daily drawings, fifty-fifty drawings, and pools are all examples of small games of chance.

Applications for eligible organizations range from special single use permits to year-long permits.

A majority of voters will have to vote yes in order to have small games of chance in West Hempfield Township.

By law, prizes given out can't be higher than $2,000 dollars.

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