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Pennsylvania to introduce self-exclusion from VGTs


The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has announced a tool for individuals to voluntarily exclude themselves from gambling using video gambling terminals (VGTs).

Using the tool, players can choose to exclude themselves from gambling using VGTs for one year, five years or permanently.

Establishments offering VGTs must refuse wagers and deny gaming privileges, check cashing, player club membership and complementary goods and services to any self-excluded person. Establishments are also prohibited from offering promotional materials to self-excluded persons. Self-excluded players are prohibited from collecting winnings and if a person violates the terms of self-exclusion, they may be subject to arrest.

VGTs are expected to be launched at truck stops in Pennsylvania later this month after their roll-out was initially confirmed in December 2018. However, they faced opposition from Lancaster County, which includes an Amish population of more than 33,000 and is made up of 60 municipalities which all opted out of Class 4 satellite casinos. In July, the state legislature passed a bill that would allow municipalities in Lancaster County to ban VGTs within their territories.

Truck stops eligible to host VGTs must sell an average of 50,000 gallons per month in diesel fuels, have 20 dedicated parking spots for commercial motor vehicles, have a convenience store,be a Pennsylvania Lottery Sales Agent and sit on at least three acres of land. Truck stops will be permitted to host up to five machines each.

The maximum bet on a VGT will be $5 with a maximum payout of $1,000 and the minimum theoretical payout percentage for VGTs is 85%, the same as slot machines in Pennsylvania casinos.

The launch of the VGT self-exclusion programme follows the roll-out of an online variant in May this year, as the PGCB looks to enhance player safeguards as the state’s gambling market expands.

Earlier this month (5 August), Pennsylvania Lottery announced record revenue and profit for the 2018-19 fiscal year.