Alcohol Vending Machines

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Monday, April 25, 2011 - 8:12am

Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board plans alcohol vending machine pilot program.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is making changes to try and boost its sales.

The PLCB has given its stamp of approval to start selling hard liquor out of the kiosk machines at some grocery stores.

To be profitable, these state-supported alcohol vending machines need to sell 50 bottles a day.

Until now, they've only offered wine and some of the machines are selling as few as 2 bottles a week.

Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board CEO Joe Conti says the state is close to rolling out a pilot program which would offer hard liquor selections at 5 to 10 existing kiosks across the state.

"Somewhat surprising to us, in addition to wanting to buy wine in a grocery store setting they also like the availability of spirits on occasion. We're doing all we can to increase customer acceptance and usage," said Conti.

The machines offer drinkers a new option of where to buy alcohol in a state where government holds a monopoly on the sale of wine and spirits.

Right now, the machines are located in grocery stores and require buyers to swipe identification to prove their age and breathe into a sensor to prove they are not intoxicated.

The entire transaction is also monitored remotely by a PLCB employee using a small camera.

In December, the state pulled the plug on the kiosks for a few weeks because of technical problems.
 

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