Emma Snyder


Privatization, in the context of alcohol sales, refers to the act of a state government relinquishing its monopoly over sales of alcohol and issuing alcohol sales licenses to private businesses. Despite evidence showing that privatization generally increases the convenience of purchasing alcohol and could possibly lead to lower prices of alcohol, Pennsylvania is part of a shrinking minority of states that has held strong to its monopoly system and rejected numerous political efforts to adopt a private license system. As a result, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania undergoes constant criticism for maintaining a monopoly system that is not only outdated but is also no longer needed to serve the purposes for which the monopoly system was originally created.

This Comment discusses the evolution of Pennsylvania's liquor law and compares the defining features of monopoly systems and private license systems. This Comment will also analyze the risks and benefits of privatizing alcohol sales in Pennsylvania. Ultimately, this Comment recommends that Pennsylvania abandon its current monopoly system and adopt a privatized license system. By adopting a license system, the Commonwealth would experience social and economic benefits. Moreover, privatization would bring Pennsylvania's liquor code into the modem age, leaving behind a system that was put in place for antiquated reasons.



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