Wednesday, September 21, 2011

PA to shut down failing wine kiosk program

As I reported a few weeks ago, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board's (PLCB's) wine kiosk experiment was not going well (Hurricanes increase wine sales, not kiosks). And now it appears the program is done.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported yesterday that the PLCB is shutting down the wine kiosk program due to a financial dispute with Simple Brands, the Conshohocken company that provided the wine-dispensing machines to supermarkets across the state. It has been widely reported that these kiosks broke down repeatedly.

The PLCB claims it has not been reimbursed by Simple Brands for expenses totalling more than $1 million. Simple Brands claims the state agency has racked up unnecessary expenses.

The next step will probably be a lawsuit. If so, it's more bad news for Pennsylvania residents. Not only did the kiosk program end up costing the state money, but more taxpayer funds will have to be spent on attorney and court fees. Perhaps the two parties should just settle the dispute over a bottle of wine... if they can find a kiosk that works, of course.

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