If your organization is offering small games of chance, expect state police to be checking you out.
Under a new amendment to Pennsylvania's Local Option Small Games of Chance Act, a Pennsylvania State Police background check on certain officers of organizations offering small games of chance is mandated. According to the amendment, the executive officer and secretary of organizations applying for or renewing licenses to operate small games of chance must submit a state police criminal background check with their application.
According to Warren County Treasurer Dennis Munksgard, since the law took effect on March 3, he has dealt with a number of applicants who were unaware of the new amendment and had to ask them to return with the background check before submitting their application.
"I just want to get the information out there," said Munksgard. "Organizations that will be updating their small games of chance (license) need to be aware of it and get checks done before they come in. That way they don't have to make two trips."
The law effects dozens of clubs, churches and non-profit organizations across the county as it applies to all organizations legally allowed to offer small games of chance.
Pennsylvania law defines small games of chance as, "punchboards, daily drawings, weekly drawings, raffles and pull-tabs, as defined in this act, provided that no such game shall be played by or with the assistance of any mechanical or electrical devices or media other than a dispensing machine or passive selection device."
Organizations can obtain a background check by contacting the Pennsylvania State Police or by visiting www.psp.state.pa.us and clicking on the public services tab on the left side of the screen. From there clicking on the criminal history request link on the center of the page will navigate you to a page containing the Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History (PATCH) site link. Once on the Patch site, you can click on the submit new records link and, after accepting terms and conditions, follow on screen directions to have the background check done. Background checks cost $10 each.