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Pennsylvania Gaming Market

How to Get a Liquor License in Pennsylvania

April 28, 2021

Getting a liquor license can be an overwhelming process. But here at Accel Entertainment, we want to assist you with a little preparation to help keep everything as straightforward as possible.

The first thing to know is that the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) is the primary agency that controls the distribution and renewal of all liquor licenses in the Keystone State. According to the PLCB website, there are only four ways to obtain a liquor license in Pennsylvania:

  • The issuing of a new license from the PLCB
  • The approval of a person-to-person transfer
  • The approval of a place-to-place transfer
  • The approval of a double transfer (person-to-person AND place-to-place)

Getting a new license issued by the PLCB is a rare occurrence since the amount of liquor licenses available in a county is determined by population and only updated every 10 years. Therefore, it’s more realistic for a Pennsylvania business owner to purchase a liquor license from a different business and transfer it over to their own business entity.

Once you have filled out the proper documentation and filed with the PLCB for your liquor license transfer, you will have to post an orange notice at your establishment, letting nearby community members make a formal protest if they object. After the orange notice is posted, the PLCB will conduct a minor investigation into your criminal and financial history. Once you successfully complete the notice period and investigation, all you need is final approval from the PLCB and you will be good to go!


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Are There Different Types of Pennsylvania Liquor Licenses?

You may be surprised to learn that there are quite a few types of liquor licenses available in Pennsylvania, but there are two that are applicable to most businesses: the Restaurant Liquor License and the Eating Place Liquor License. Let’s go over a few key differences.

Restaurant Liquor License

These are the most commonly used liquor licenses in Pennsylvania. They permit the sale of alcohol (beer, wine, and liquor) in an establishment that is regularly making and serving food to the public. The Restaurant Liquor License is occasionally referred to as the “bar” or “tavern” liquor license, but many convenience stores, gas station, and grocery stores also make use of this liquor license.

Eating Place Liquor License

An Eating Place license permits the sale of malt and brewed beverages (beer) in an establishment that is regularly making and serving food to the public. Sometimes these liquor licenses are referred to as the “corner store” liquor license.

Here at Accel Entertainment, we pride ourselves on being a true asset to our partner establishments in every aspect of your business! If you are a bar or tavern owner in Pennsylvania and want to discuss the possibility of adding video gaming to your revenue stream, leave us a comment below or reach out to us at!


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