The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

November 2, 2013

Clubs bet against expanding games

Business owners say clientele different

- — The state is the only sure winner in a proposal to expand small games of chance from private clubs into public bars and taverns.

The games, which include popular “pull-tab” tickets sold at most veterans and ethnic clubs, are a reliable source of revenue for the clubs that ultimately benefits community groups the organizations support, according to Tom Hanzes, president of the Pennsylvania Federation of Clubs and Fraternal Organizations.

Hanzes, who lives in Pymatuning Township and serves as quartermaster of Reynolds Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7599, heads the organization that represents 450 clubs across the state, including 39 in Mercer County.

“We have our hands full,” Hanzes said this week, as he prepares for what may happen when the General Assembly reconvenes.

The Senate passed the legislation that would expand the games into bars and “if they have the votes,” the House of Representatives may vote on the bill Nov. 12 or 13, Hanzes said.

“I have grave concerns,” he said of the law, which could cripple already struggling social, ethnic and veterans clubs that dominate the landscape in the Rust Belt of western Pennsylvania.

“We have so many smaller clubs, they’re having a tough time to exist,” Hanzes said.

Bar owners see it differently.

“I think it’s about time,” Ron Dubrasky, who owns the Golden Bear Tavern in West Middlesex said. “I think we should all be on an even playing field.”

Dubrasky said he didn’t think the move would change the business at private clubs, because they serve a different clientele.

“It’s not going to hurt their business at all,” he said. “They’re (club members) still going to stay there,” he said.

But VFW and American Legion post leaders are lamenting the possibility the change will hurt their business.

“We’re quite concerned about it for the future,” said Robert Renner, commander of Wheatland American Legion Post 432.

The tickets are a “good money maker” for the club, Renner said.

There’s also a lot of precise clerical work required of those selling the tickets that bar owners may not be aware of, Renner said.

They’re also not quite the cash cow the Commonwealth may be counting on.

About 4,000 ticket sales each week net the post about $80, Renner said.

It might not hurt the clubs as much as they fear, said Bill Shepherd, a social member of Sharpsville VFW Post 6404.

Shepherd regularly plays the games and said the people who’d most benefit from expanding them into the bar world would be the employees of the taverns because of increased tips from lucky winners.

It wouldn’t cause him to stop frequenting the Sharpsville club, however.

“I actually like the atmosphere here,” Shepherd said. “It’s a more tight-knit crowd.”

Playing the tickets is more of a game than a money maker, he said.

“It’s a break-even” game, he said. “Sometimes you lose, sometimes you win. It’s truly the luck of the draw.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • News briefs from April 18, 2014

    ‘Nonspecific threat’ prompts evacuation

    Supreme Court refuses to hear couple’s appeal

    Lung Association offering free radon test kits

    April 18, 2014

  • Man admits to choking; rape case is dropped

    A Greenville man on Thursday pleaded down a rape case to simple assault and continued to deny that he committed any sexual crimes.

    April 18, 2014

  • Judge issues tabletop ads injunction against couple

    A judge recently handed down an injunction prohibiting a Sharon man, his wife and two companies associated with the wife from working in the tabletop advertising business within 100 miles of Sharon.

    April 18, 2014

  • Tech waste eyed for new contact

    The current Hermitage solid waste contract was designed to increase recycling while reducing the amount of garbage placed at the curb, and it has lived up to its promise.

    April 18, 2014

  • WaterFire Rekindled

    WaterFire Sharon has chosen themes for its festivals to be held on three Saturdays in downtown Sharon. “Elements” will be the theme July 19, “Origins” for Aug. 23 and “Motion” for the Sept. 27 celebration.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from April 17, 2014

    Man arrested for running from accident scene

    UPMC, Southwest eyeing security at hospital

    Crashes cause diversion of Interstate 80 traffic

    Court supports prison term in chase case

    Woman gets 5-10 years in crash that killed officer

    April 17, 2014

  • Officials pledge support to sewer project

    Publicly declaring their intention to donate county land to the Upper Neshannock Watershed Authority, Commissioners Matt McConnell and John Lechner said there’s no need for Commissioner Brian Beader to worry about the loss of the sewer project at the Interstate 80/Route 19 interchange.

    April 17, 2014

  • Griswold Avenue fire Neighbors tried to save victim

    As flames and thick smoke poured out of a Sharon house Tuesday evening, neighbors rallied to try and save the man who lived there alone.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woman nabbed, sister sought in assault

    Southwest Mercer County Regional police have arrested a Hermitage woman for breaking into a home in Farrell and beating a woman and are seeking the alleged assailant’s sister.

    April 16, 2014

  • Despite good deeds, man going back to prison

    Linda K. Kretzer had nothing but praise for Raymond C. McKelvey.

    April 16, 2014

  • 15-year-old legal battle returning to county court

    State Supreme Court has let stand a Superior Court decision sending a landmark medical malpractice case back to Mercer County Common Pleas Court.

    April 16, 2014

  • Southwest mulls how to adopt study points

    Even though some members of the Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Department had little respect for a study of the department completed by a consultant, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. pledged to implement as many of the study’s recommendations as he could.

    April 16, 2014

  • Beader plans to resign, just not yet

    Democratic Mercer County Commissioner Brian Beader acknowledges that he intends to resign, but said nothing will happen until after he meets privately with the county’s judges next Thursday.

    April 16, 2014

  • Wildlife fund for park Aiding Buhl Farm animals

    Some of Steven Jubelirer’s fondest memories of his mother, Natalie, was when they would walk together in Buhl Farm park, Hermitage.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • News briefs from April 15, 2014

    Man charged with attack on his wife in Walmart

    Woman arrested for stabbing man with knife

    3 injured in pickup-motorcycle crash

    April 15, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Sharonheraldnewspaper Facebook Page