A proposal to legalize small-time gambling in bars has cleared the state House and will go back to the Senate for approval.
The measure would allow thousands of bars and taverns to offer small games of chance, like raffles and drawings.
The state would get 60 percent of revenue, and the hosting municipality would get a five percent cut.
The hosting bars and taverns would keep the rest.
Democratic Rep. Paul Costa of Allegheny County says it’s a way to give bars another revenue opportunity.
"These taverns are run and owned by our neighbors and friends," he said. "These are family run businesses that over the years we keep putting them, making it harder and harder for them to make a living. This is going to give them the ability to keep their businesses open."
Such games are now only available in private clubs, like VFW posts, fire halls and Moose lodges.
Clubs say legalizing the games in bars will eat into their gambling business and minimize both the money they can donate to charitable causes and the funding that’s helping them prop up their operations.