PITTSBURGH -- The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is seeking proposals for a contractor to operate up to 100 wine kiosks throughout the state.

The kiosks, a type of temperature-controlled vending machine capable of holding 500 bottles of wine, would be placed in grocery stores and other places, according to request on the LCB's Web site. They would offer about a dozen different types of wine.

Wendell Young IV, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776, whose members include state store clerks, was among those briefed on the proposal.

The kiosk has security identification measures such as fingerprints and biometric readings, he said. Users would have to register and purchases would have to be made with credit card, debit card or PLCB gift card.

Young anticipates the kiosks being placed in locations such as grocery stores or malls.

"You're not going to put these up at bus stops, or on a street corner, like a Coke or Pepsi vending machine," Young said.

The five-year contract proposal calls for the kiosks to be operated at no cost to the state or Liquor Control Board.

PLCB spokesman Nick Hays said he could not provide more specifics because of a "quiet period" required while proposals are submitted and evaluated. The request went out in late March, and proposals must be submitted by May 8.

Vending machines selling alcoholic beverages have been in use in Japan, Singapore and some European countries, but security issues and restrictive liquor laws have made their development and use elsewhere limited, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Sunday.


On the Web:

Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board: www.lcb.state.pa.us/