Additional Law Enforcement Grants Target Only Illegal Slot Machines
HARRISBURG: The Chairman of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today reiterated that grants awarded under a program mandated in the Gaming Act are to be used only to enforce and prevent the unlawful operation of slot machines in the Commonwealth, and not for illegal activities involving small games of chance.
Mary DiGiacomo Colins made this announcement following the latest approvals by the Gaming Control Board of five new grant requests totaling $272,364.83 to local law enforcement agencies.
"Counter to some media reports, these grants are being used exclusively by local law enforcement agents to identify and eliminate just the illegal use of slot machines in the Commonwealth, and not by Liquor Control Enforcement on crackdowns of any small games of chance violations at private clubs," Colins said. "These grants, in fact, cannot be awarded to a state enforcement agency such as the LCE."
Colins said this was the sixth round of approvals by the Board under the program developed and approved by the Legislature as part of the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act. The program funding comes exclusively from revenues generated from licensed slot machine facilities, and permits up to $5 million to be awarded annually. Maximum grants are $250,000.
A total of $3,127,247 has now been awarded since the Board initiated the program in late 2007, with latest grants approved to:
- Luzerne County District Attorney in Luzerne County – $52,630
- Monroe County District Attorney in Monroe County – $90,000
- Municipality of Penn Hills in Allegheny County – $44,972
- South Fayette Township Police Department in Allegheny County – $69,924
- Harrison Township Police Department in Allegheny County – $14,839
These entities approved can use the grants for:
- Identification, Prevention and Deterrence: Grants may be awarded for the purpose of attending education and training events sponsored by authoritative agencies for the purpose of training officers, investigators or attorneys in techniques appropriate to the enforcement and prevention of the operation of unlawful slot machines in the Commonwealth. Grants may be awarded to conduct programs utilizing proven methods to attain deterrence or prevention of the illegal use of slot machines.
- Prevention, Enforcement, Investigation and Prosecution: Grants may be awarded to defray costs related to assigning officers or investigators to prevent, deter, enforce or investigate the illegal use of slot machines. Grants may be awarded to defray the cost of prosecuting crimes involving the illegal use of slot machines.
- Other Prevention and Enforcement Programs: Other programs that address prevention and enforcement of the use of illegal slot machines in the Commonwealth may be proposed.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is dedicated to protecting the financial interests of commonwealth citizens through the funding of local law enforcement efforts in identifying slot machines that make cash payouts but result in no tax revenue to the state.
Local law enforcement agencies are encouraged to apply for these grants which will be awarded to eligible applicants until funding is exhausted. Information and applications are available on the PGCB website at www.pgcb.state.pa.us.
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