Timeline of Blunders
- March 17, 2020
- The PLCB effectively ends all sale of liquor in the state by closing all state stores and ending online sales.
- April 1, 2020
- Limited online sales begin, and the website is unable to handle the traffic. The PLCB implemented a lottery-like randomization to determine who can access the website. Only about 1 in 330 customers could successfully access the site.
- April 20, 2020
- May 1, 2020
- PennLive reported on a backdoor link that allowed website users in the know to bypass the randomized lottery and access the site nearly 100% of the time.
- Reason Magazine reported how liquor stores in New Jersey had to close their doors after a flood of Pennsylvania customers pushed the stores over their safe occupancy levels.
- Ohio and West Virginia are refusing to sell alcohol to Pennsylvania residents in counties that border the state.
- Police in Delaware set up a check point to discourage Pennsylvania residents driving into the state from purchasing alcohol.
- While Pennsylvania restaurants lost revenue waiting for the ability to sell drinks to-go (the law was finally signed on May 21, 2020), places like D.C., New York City, Ohio, and Texas not only implemented this change but are now considering making it permanent.
- Online wine ordering sites saw sales increase following COVID-19 by over 500%. Unfortunately, Pennsylvanians are limited in their selection, as direct wine shipping must be licensed by the PLCB.