The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board slashed the license fee for a tavern gaming license to $500 from $2,000 in a unanimous vote, the agency said.

Applicants will still have to pay $2,000 to cover the costs of the application and a background check by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, but the fee for those approved has been cut to attract more applicants.

Lawmakers were counting on the legalization of selected games of chance in bars to raise as much as $156 million annually if 2,000 bars obtained the licenses. But as of Wednesday, only 21 of the licenses had been issued.

Bar owners complained that the licenses would not be profitable, despite a costly and arduous application process. - Harold Brubaker