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No alcohol, gambling at American Legion post for 30 days

The organization was charged with violating small games of chance regulations for three weeks

The organization was charged with violating small games of chance regulations for three weeks

August 25, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA. -- The American Legion post in Waynesboro will not serve alcohol or allow gambling for a 30-day period starting Sept. 21 due to punishments related to an investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police's liquor control enforcement bureau.

Joe Stickell American Legion Post 15, at 63 E. Main St., was charged with violating small games of chance regulations for three weeks and failing to properly maintain records, according to state police Sgt. Mark Crossan.

The club was accused of paying out more than the $5,000-a-week threshold set by law, Crossan said. Fines of $3,500 were levied and the 30-day suspension was handed down by an administrative law judge, he said.

"It's not the first time, or else they wouldn't have gotten such a severe penalty," Crossan said, saying the post's file showed two previous offenses.

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Post Commander Daryl McClellan said the case will not be appealed.

"The effects are more on the community than the club," McClellan said, talking about the post's financial contributions to different causes.

McClellan said clubs paid out more than $5,000 a week for four decades without repercussions. However, he said the opening of casinos in Pennsylvania in the past two years prompted a crackdown on other gambling.

The post had donated more than $20,000 a year to the community, McClellan said. Now, much of the diminished gambling profits must be retained to operate the club, he said.

Most revenue comes from gambling in which pull-tab tickets are put in a bowl, he said.

McClellan speculated that many of the active members will go to other clubs during the 30-day period. The post has 2,600 members through the auxiliary, sons and social status classifications.

"You can still offer food services, meetings, that kind of thing," McClellan said of the 30-day period.

Crossan said the state police respond to clubs based on complaints.

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