Notice From the PA Gaming Control Board: County Option To Prohibit Placement of Truck Stop Video Gaming Terminals
HARRISBURG, PA: On October 30, 2017, Governor Wolf signed into law House Bill 271 which amends the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act (“Act”), 4 Pa.C.S. §§1101 et seq., and authorizes a number of gambling expansion opportunities throughout the Commonwealth.
One such opportunity is found in the creation of Video Gaming at certain truck stops across Pennsylvania. Under the expansion language, a truck stop which could be eligible for placement of up to 5 video gaming terminals is defined as:
· a premises that is equipped with diesel islands used for fueling commercial motor vehicles;
· has sold on average 50,000 gallons of diesel or biodiesel fuel each month for the previous 12 months or is projected to do so for the next 12 months;
· has at least 20 parking spaces dedicated for commercial motor vehicles;
· has a convenience store;
· is situated on a parcel of land not less than three acres; and,
· is not located on any property owned by the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Section 4506 of the Act provides for a “Host County Option” that permits a county in which a Category 1, Category 2 or Category 3 Slot Machine Licensee is located to prohibit, or opt-out of, the placement of video gaming terminals within the host county by delivering a resolution exercising this power within 60 days of the effective date of §4506 which would be no later than December 29, 2017.1
In order to facilitate this process, if a county which currently hosts a Category 1, 2 or 3 casino facility desired to avail itself of the Host County Option regarding video gaming terminals, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board provides the following guidance:
· The governing body of the County should officially adopt the Resolution at a public meeting consistent with the requirements of Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Act, 65 Pa.C.S. §701 et seq., after October 31, 2017.
· Then, an official copy of the Resolution should be delivered no later than December 29, 2017 to:
Pamela Lewis, Board Secretary
Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
303 Walnut Street
Commonwealth Tower, 5th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101
The Board also recommends that each county governing body consult their solicitor in the development of the resolution which, at minimum, should include the following information:
· Reference to the power granted under Section 4506 and the county’s decision to exercise the power to opt-out;
· The date that the county governing body adopted the resolution; and
· The inclusion of signatures or seal necessary to establish that the resolution was officially adopted.
 The specific text of Section 4506 is as follows:
§ 4506. HOST COUNTY OPTION.
(A) GENERAL RULE.--A COUNTY THAT HOSTS A CATEGORY 1, CATEGORY 2 OR CATEGORY 3 LICENSED FACILITY ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION SHALL HAVE THE OPTION TO PROHIBIT THE PLACEMENT OF VIDEO GAMING TERMINALS WITHIN THE HOST COUNTY BY DELIVERING A RESOLUTION OF THE COUNTY GOVERNING BODY TO THE BOARD WITHIN 60 DAYS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION. NO VIDEO GAMING TERMINALS MAY BE OPERATED IN A HOST COUNTY THAT HAS EXERCISED THE OPTION TO PROHIBIT VIDEO GAMING TERMINALS UNDER THIS SECTION.
(B) RESCISSION OF PROHIBITION.—
(1) SUBJECT TO PARAGRAPH (2), A HOST COUNTY THAT PROHIBITS VIDEO GAMING TERMINALS WITHIN THE HOST COUNTY UNDER SUBSECTION (A) MAY RESCIND THAT PROHIBITION AT ANY TIME BY DELIVERING A NEW RESOLUTION OF THE COUNTY GOVERNING BODY TO THE BOARD.
(2) A HOST COUNTY THAT RESCINDS ITS PRIOR PROHIBITION ACCORDING TO PARAGRAPH (1) MAY NOT SUBSEQUENTLY PROHIBIT VIDEO GAMING TERMINALS IN THE HOST COUNTY UNDER THIS SECTION.