State Auditor General Jack Wagner will look into the mechanical problems plaguing wine kiosks throughout Pennsylvania that prompted the state's Liquor Control Board to shut down the self-service wine machines Tuesday.
Wagner said his audit would focus on whether the kiosks, located in 30 supermarkets across the state, deliver the customer convenience and additional revenue to the Commonwealth that the Liquor Control Board claimed when it awarded a contract to Simple Brands LLC of Conshohocken to develop the machines.
"The kiosks' breakdown during the height of the holiday shopping season has left customers high and dry, and we want to know why," Wagner said in a story published on philly.com.
The Liquor Control Board deployed the kiosk program this summer in two Harrisburg-area supermarkets but has expanded into other grocery stores, including two in the Philadelphia area. The large vending machines require customers to scan their driver's license and pass a Breathalyzer test before sales are made.
Wagner said the PLCB awarded a $173,000 contract for the kiosks, but he believes it may not be cost effective to sell wine out of machines. He expects his audit to take a few months.
LCB officials cited mechanical problems, including machines not dispensing wines, as justification for the closings. They also said the machines should be back in service by early 2011.