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AMVETS cited for violating games regulations

September 21, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. -- The Chambersburg AMVETS is the latest Franklin County, Pa., social club to be cited with violating regulations on small games of chance, the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement announced recently.

Hume McNeal Byers AMVETS Post 224, on Fifth Avenue, allegedly paid out more than the $5,000-a-week limit and failed to keep complete records, according to a state police news release.

Club Manager Marcie Chapline said the summary of charges was received last Friday.

The club can waive a hearing or go before an administrative law judge, who can impose fines or changes to the club's license.

Chapline said she does not know how the board of directors wants to proceed.

The club was cited for misuse of proceeds in July 2008, Liquor Enforcement Supervisor John Mathias said. That resulted in a $1,050 fine and 30-day suspension in November 2008, he said.

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Other citations were issued in 2004 and 2007, Mathias said.

Chapline said the AMVETS continues to talk to state legislators about changing the allowed payout amounts. The gambling benefits community causes and keeps clubs financially viable, she said.

"It's the difference between keeping the doors open and closing them," Chapline said.

On Saturday, state Rep. Rob Kauffman, R-Franklin/Cumberland, said efforts are being made to increase the allowed payouts. The merchandise sold to operate the games might be further taxed starting with the 2009-10 budget.

Several clubs in Franklin County, such as the American Legion post and Elks Club in Waynesboro, Pa., have faced punishments for similar violations.

"It's a redundant cycle," Chapline said. "All the clubs are going through it."

Hume McNeal Byers AMVETS Post 224 has about 3,000 people in various membership categories. It rents a hall and pavilion for special events.

"It's a very large club, and we do a lot of functions for the community," Chapline said.

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