In Pennsylvania, a wealth of gambling options are on offer and even more is set to come in the state. From the lottery to sports betting, online gaming, video gaming terminals, and mini casinos, the state is set to offer it all. And while it is great to be flexible, having too many hands in the pot so to speak may become an issue. Just recently, infighting began in the realm of skill games in the state.
Nuisance Lawsuit Filed
Pace-O-Matic is a manufacturer of skill machines in the state that recently filed a nuisance lawsuit against 3C Amusements, accusing the company of operating illegal machines. The lawsuit accuses 3C of operating devices that are illegal in their locations in Cambria County. According to Tom Marino, the counsel for Pace-O-Matic, the company is using the illegal gambling machines while Pace produces game of skill that are legal in the state and should be used instead.
Mr. Marino stated: “Their machines are illegal. Our machine is not illegal. We have had it adjudicated in a court of common pleas that it is a legal machine, a legal device, because it is a game of skill. The difference between our machine and a casino machine is you have to have the ability and skill to win on our machine, and when you acquire that, when you are able to do that, you can win 105% of what you bet.”
The attorney claims that other gambling devices where you sit and put money in, hit a button and you don’t win, and continue with this process, they are designed to win some but mostly lose. The games provided by Pace-O-Matic are not of that nature and are designed with skill in mind.
Second Lawsuit Filed
After the first lawsuit was filed, Pace-O-Matic decided to file a second lawsuit, this time going after a specific business where the games are being played. The Bar, a venue located in Boalsburg, is named in this suit, for hosting the illegal games of skill. The company is seeking $50,000 in damages and wants to see the games removed from the property. In this suit, it is not clear as to if the games operated are owned by 3C or another entity.
Over the past year, a major crackdown has taken place in the state regarding illegal games. The state Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement have confirmed that every county in the state has such games in operation.
According to the state police, the devices are illegal and are operating in the state despite efforts by police to shut them down. The games are not a victimless crime, according to authorities, because they take away proceeds from legal gambling. Such proceeds are used to provide senior assistance as well as take away property tax burdens from residents.
Additional efforts are being made to shut down these games. A bill has been introduced that would place offenses on those who offer the illegal games. Examples would be a minimum of $5,000 in fines for a first-degree misdemeanor charge. A second offense would have a fine of no less than $10,000 per violation while a third offense would be considered a felony and would have a $15,000 fine per violation.
The goal with the legislation is to create penalties that will stop facilities from offering the games. The bill still have to be considered in legislature before it can become law and enforced. Even if it does become law, there is no guarantee that such facilities will stop offering the gambling games.