A recent ruling by the Commonwealth Court involving a skill-game machine company named Pace-O-Matic (POM) has one gaming company calling the machines illegal ones. POM of course disagrees with the Parx Casino, a gaming facility operator in Pennsylvania, who they say are making outrageous claims involving their machines.
After the ruling was made public, Parx Casino came forward to state that authorities had haled the ‘proliferation of thousands of illegal Pennsylvania Skill slot machines’. Parx is not party to the case but feel the court decision means the games are illegal.
POM says that the casino’s comments are an outrageous claim and it is a desperate attempt by the operator to pain the decision in a false light. Judge Patrician McCullough ruled that the machines offered in convenience stores around the state as well as in bars and restaurants fit the definition of slot as defined in the Gaming Act.
The judge did not grant a summary judgement for the state regarding the company being in violation of the Gaming Act because it does not apply to unlicensed slot machines. She also declined to call the machines illegal gambling devices.
POM claims their games are not defined as slots or illegal gambling games because they require an element of skill that outweighs the luck factor. A ruling from 2014 in the state backs this claim. The machines require that players repeat a complicated pattern to increase their score. They also involve bonus games where players must take part in arcade-style shooting sequences where reflexes must be used to be successful.
Back in June 2018, the POM group sued the state as well as Philadelphia after the city completed raids on their operations. Eleven separate raids took place where employees were arrested and funds seized. POM asked for a judgement that their games are legal. The department and city then decided to sue POM, declaring the machines are slot games and they are illegal unless they have been given a license to operate by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
The Recent Ruling
According to POM’s attorney, the decision means that the skill games are not regulated by the Gaming Act and the terms such as slot machines do not apply. The attorney also said that the Commonwealth Court did not decide POM’s claim regarding the status of their game from a legal standpoint. Essentially, this means that the current ruling from 2014 stating the games are one of skill is still the law in the state.
Reportedly, POM Has around 5,000 of their machines in operation within the state of Pennsylvania. They stated this week that they remain committed to continuing to work with the local lawmakers to regulate, tax and provide enforcement of the legal skill game industry.
It is unclear as to if this most recent ruling will mean anything further for POM. Parx Casino may choose to challenge the manufacture as they feel the ruling means the games are illegal and should not be in operation.