Pennsylvania Approves 24/7 Alcohol in Casinos

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (l.) signed a bill into law that exempts casinos from the state law requiring alcohol sales to cease at 2 a.m.

Pennsylvania casinos will now be able to serve alcohol around the clock, as Governor Tom Wolf last week signed into law a bill that exempts the 12 casinos from the state law requiring alcohol to be cut off at 2 a.m.

The measure was one of several being considered to bolster a casino industry that saw nothing but growth until recently. Flat revenue results have prompted Pennsylvania lawmakers to consider several expansion bills.

However, the 24/7 alcohol measure is part of a separate bill to liberalize liquor sales in the state. In addition to the casino measure, the new law permits wine and beer to be sold in supermarkets, providing for the auctioning off of dormant liquor licenses to allow for beer sales at the food stores.

The other expansion measures still under consideration include measures to legalize online gaming, to permit slot machines at airports and off-track betting parlors, and to legalize gaming machines in bars and taverns. Pro-gaming lawmakers hope to pass some or all of the measures this month, as the legislature scrambles to pass a budget before the July 1 start of the new fiscal year.

State House Republicans said last week that another floor vote could happen this week on the expansion measures.