Sunday, March 30, 2008

PLCB provides kiosk solution

I just noticed on the Pennsylvania State Liquor Control Board's website that the PLCB is soliciting bids for a vendor to supply automated kiosks to supply wine to the public in places the state monopoly is not. The stated reason for the PLCB in the first place is to prevent wine from getting into the hands of minors. A human can't open a store and adults can't get wine shipped to their homes but a machine, apparently, can tell the difference between a minor and an adult. Oh, this is good.

If I didn't live in PA and with this wine nightmare, I would think this RFP is complete fiction. The simplest of solutions would be to license stores to actual humans (although I think liquor licenses are controlled locally in PA so this might be their way around this). Let the human decide what kind of wine to sell, order it thought the state, I guess, and let the human provide answers to questions. I am not a fan of the current system, but I'm pretty sure the machines will not answer questions about wine better than the current set of employees. On second thought...

The most entertaining part of this RFP starts on page 49.

Am I completely off base on this? In these economic hard times, wouldn't one way to stimulate the economy be to open up another market?

I'll take your response off-air.

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