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Small Games of Chance

Small Games of Chance

NOTICE: Effective 06/16/2022, The Treasurer's Office No Longer Has Access to a Notary to Notarize Small Games of Chance Applications. Please Have the Application Notarized Before Coming to the Office. Thank You for Your Cooperation. 

Disclaimer: The purpose of the information listed on this website is to be helpful to those who have questions. Please note that absolutely NO information listed for the Adams County Treasurer should be used as legal advice. Personnel are not permitted to give ANY legal advice. If you have a question concerning legality, please contact an attorney.

The Pennsylvania Crimes Code provides that all forms of gambling are illegal unless the Pennsylvania legislature specifically authorizes the gambling activity by statute.

Gambling exists when there is a payment of consideration or a fee or something of value for the opportunity for a prize or reward, the winner of which is determined by chance.  Effectively, the three elements are: (1) consideration, (2) chance and (3) prize or reward.

Currently, the only authorized and legal forms of gambling in Pennsylvania are:

a.) Those gambling activities conducted pursuant to the Race Horse Industry Reform Act.
b.) Those gambling activities conducted pursuant to the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act.
c.) Pennsylvania Lottery.
d.) Bingo conducted pursuant to the Bingo Law.
e.) Those gambling activities conducted pursuant to the Local Option Small Games of Chance Act.
f.) Those gambling activities conducted pursuant to the Sport Raffle Charities Act.

The Pennsylvania Local Option Small Games of Chance Act was passed in 1988 and has been amended several times since its enactment, most notably by Acts 2 and 184 of 2012 and Acts 90 and 92 of 2013. The small games of chance law authorizes certain non-profit organizations, known as eligible organizations (including club licensees), and for-profit taverns to conduct limited types of gambling.

An eligible organization is one of the following types of entities:  A charitable, religious, fraternal or veterans’ organization; a club, civic and service association; or an affiliated non-profit organization of a major league sports team.  An eligible organization must be in existence and fulfilling its purpose for one year in order to be eligible for a games of chance license. (Please refer to the Law for a complete definition of eligible organizations.)