The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

October 26, 2013

Social, vets clubs fret law for bars

(Continued)

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This area’s state senator, Robert D. “Bob” Robbins, Salem Township, R-50th District, voted against the bar gambling.

Gordner also worries that there is a limit on how much interest there is in gambling and at some point, new gaming options are going cannibalize business from older state-run games.

“There will have to be an effect on the Lottery which has been in place for over 35 years and funds senior citizen programs,” Gordner said.

The proposal does more than increase competition, said John Getz, state adjutant for the VFW. Senators stripped out language that would have allowed the veterans clubs and other social clubs to keep the first $40,000 of gaming revenue. This move would be the nail in the coffin for many of the smaller veterans posts in the commonwealth.

Getz predicted that if the bill passes as is, 200 of the 480 VFW posts in Pennsylvania could close.

James Grossman, commander of the Farrell VFW, said his members vote each month on how to use their gaming revenue to help their neighbors. Contacted Thursday, he’d already spent a part of his day writing out checks.

“(The proposed bill) is not to our benefit, which means it’s not a benefit to the community,” Grossman said.

Grossman said he’s certain that the social clubs and veterans organizations are going to lose out.

“(Lawmakers) will find a way to flamboozle” us, he said.

John Finnerty works in the Harrisburg Bureau for Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. He can be reached by email at jfinnerty@cnhi.com or on Twitter@cnhipa

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