Small Games of Chance
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.)

Types of Games
Licensed eligible organizations are authorized to conduct the following games of chance:

•Pull-tab games
•Punchboards
•Raffles (including special permit raffles)
•Daily drawings
•Weekly drawings
•Fifty-fifty (50/50) drawings
•Race Right Games
•Pools​

Types of Licenses
There are two types of licenses available to eligible organizations:  A regular license and a monthly license. An eligible organization may conduct all forms of games of chance under either license type.

Regular License:  A regular license is an annual license, and the term runs for a calendar year from the date of issuance.  The fee for an annual license is $125.00.

Monthly License:  A monthly license is valid for 30 consecutive days for the date of issuance.  There is no restriction on the number of monthly licenses an eligible organization may obtain but the licenses may not overlap. The fee for a monthly license is $25.00. 

Special Raffle Permits: Special Raffle Permits are available to regular and monthly license holders.  The special raffle permit authorizes a holder to conduct a raffle that exceeds the normal prize limits applicable to games of chance. As a general rule, a licensed eligible organization may obtain up to 10 special raffle permits.  Total prizes awarded under all special raffle permits may not exceed $150,000.  Volunteer fire, ambulance, rescue or conservation organizations may obtain up to 12 special raffle permits and award up to $250,000 in prizes.  For a licensed eligible organization with a regular license, the organization can receive either 10 or 12 special raffle permits during the annual license term.  Because a licensed eligible organization that obtains only a monthly license does not have an annual licensed term, such organization may receive no more than 10 or 12 special permits in any calendar year. The fee for a Special Raffle Permit is $25.00. Applications must be submitted to the County Treasurer in order to be considered for a special permit.

First Time SGOC Applicants
The following documents must be provided by first time applicants in order to receive a SGOC license:

1) Proof of nonprofit or 501C3 status
 - A copy of the IRS tax exemption approval letter or official documentation indicating the applicant is a non-profit charitable organization is acceptable.
2) Proof of at least 1 year in existence
3) Copy of Bylaws or Articles of Incorporation
4) Name and addresses of Officers of the organization
5) Copy of lease/rental agreement between the applicant and the owner of the premises upon which the games of chance will be conducted. If using a residence, provide a copy of the residence permission letter.
 - For your convenience a link to the License Premise Lease Agreement Letter and a link to the Use of Residence Permission Letter is provided below.
6) Completed and notarized SGOC application with payment. Acceptable forms of payment include cash or check. Card payments are accepted over the phone or in-office. A small service fee applies to card payments.

Renewal SGOC Applicants
The following documents must be provided by renewing applicants in order to receive a renewed SGOC license:

1) Copy of Bylaws or Articles of Incorporation only if there were any changes
2) Name and addresses of Officers of the organization
3) Copy of lease/rental agreement between the applicant and the owner of the premises upon which the games of chance will be conducted. If using a residence, provide a copy of the residence permission letter.
 - For your convenience a link to the License Premise Lease Agreement Letter and a link to the Use of Residence Permission Letter is provided below.
4) Completed and notarized SGOC application with payment. Acceptable forms of payment include cash or check. Card payments are accepted over the phone or in-office. A small service fee applies to card payments.
All Applicants w/PA Liquor License
If your annual proceeds are equal to or greater than $20,000, you must report your earnings to the Department of Revenue by February 1 of the following year.
A copy of the completed report must accompany your SGOC application every year regardless if you are a first time applicant or renewing a license.