StateWays - November/December 2016

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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Page 19 of 71

OVERALL WINNER — PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD A WINNING SYSTEM Like many states, Pennsylvania has experienced the American whiskey boom, but with a limited supply of rare products like Pappy Van Winkle, it was swamped with both in- and out- of-state buyers. In an effort to more equitably distribute these limited-quantity releases products, the PLCB debuted its fi rst Limited-Release Lottery in October 2015. The PLCB held four Limited-Release Lotteries in 2015, awarding 2,253 bottles of Buffalo Trace, Four Roses and Pappy Van Winkle whiskies, and drawing more than 95,000 entries. "We had sold many of these items through the store net- work, and about fi ve years back started doing so through our online store. We had some real issues with the number of peo- ple fl ooding our systems and website," says Director of Mar- keting and Merchandising Dale Horst. "We also found that many of the buyers were coming from out of state." That's not surprising: under the state's pricing controls, they were selling Pappy at around $250 while other states were marking bottles up to $1,200. Instead, the PLCB built a system designed to favor in- state customers. Licensees received a 25% allocation, with the rest available for registered buyers with verifi able Penn- sylvania addresses. In the lottery, computer-driven random generators pull up customer numbers. Customer data, including billing and shipping addresses, is screened prior to drawings. Dupli- cate entries, out-of-state addresses and revoked or cancelled licensees are removed. In any lottery where more than one product is offered, entry data removes winners of each drawing for each subse- quent drawing. Its reputation has spread far and wide, accord- ing to Brassell, who notes even those out-of-state buyers who once gamed the system have praised its fairness and security. RESPONSIBILITY IS PARAMOUNT As Chairman Holden points out, responsible consumption is a major task for the PLCB. "We take all our charges and missions very seriously, especially responsible consumption, which includes educat- PLCB stores have shed their "Soviet-style" image and now look more like open state retail establishments. Under the state's pricing controls, they were selling Pappy at around $250 while other states were marking bottles up to $1,200. StateWays | | November/December 2016 20

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