Pace-O-Matic's Skill Games Declared Legal by Pennsylvania Court

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At the end of last month, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, in a unanimous ruling, declared Pace-O-Matic’s (POM) games as legal games of skill. The case, which originated in Dauphin County, led to the conclusion that POM games are predominantly skill-based rather than games of chance. The court’s ruling emphasized that “POM machines are not slot machines [and] the POM machines are not illegal.”

Impact and Responses

Paul Goldean, President and CEO of Pace-O-Matic, reacted positively to the ruling.

This is a major victory for Pennsylvania Skill, but it’s equally a victory for our operators and the thousands of small businesses, volunteer fire companies, and fraternal clubs who have come to depend on the revenue our games provide.

Paul GoldeanPace-O-Matic President and CEO

Goldean also declared the ruling a win for players across the commonwealth who enjoy these games.

The court explicitly clarified that “POM machines are not slot machines” and challenged the Commonwealth’s broad definition of a slot machine, which included games of predominant skill. The court disagreed with the Commonwealth’s portrayal of the game’s skill elements as secondary or insignificant, labeling this claim as “factually untrue.” The conclusion was clear: “POM machines are not gambling devices” and are not illegal.

Related: Pennsylvania Skills Games Debate Pits Casinos against Lawmakers

The Implications of the Ruling

The court also criticized the Commonwealth’s approach, noting a failure to acknowledge previous legal precedents and cautioning against a lack of candor. Michael Barley, Chief Public Affairs Officer, expressed relief at the ruling and said that it “should put an end to any discussion on the matter.”

Furthermore, earlier this month, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania supported the return of several skill game terminals in Monroe County, reinforcing the legal status of the POM game as a game of skill. Barley hopes this ruling paves the way for regulatory and taxation frameworks for skill games, benefiting small businesses and aiding law enforcement in addressing illegal gambling.

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