Small businesses that count on Pennsylvania Skill games not impacted by Philadelphia City Council ban

·3 min read

Measure passed today affects illegal, unregulated games

Philadelphia, Jan. 20, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Those who depend on revenue from legal, regulated skill games to help keep their restaurants, bars, clubs and veterans organizations open are not impacted by today’s City Council vote banning certain games.

Locations that have Pennsylvania Skill games, powered by Pace-O-Matic, which have been deemed legal by a Pennsylvania common pleas court, will continue to operate their games in the city, said Mike Barley, spokesman for Pennsylvania Skill. The resolution states that businesses and organizations that run unregulated, illegal games must shut them down.

“We support City Council’s actions that crackdown on illegal games that have sprung up around Philadelphia,” said Barley. “These games purport to be games of skill, but they're not, they are pure gambling. They are VGTs.”

Barley added, however, that Pace-O-Matic, which powers Pennsylvania Skill, is filing an amended complaint in the Commonwealth Court against the City of Philadelphia because it believes City Council intended the ban to target the legal skill game industry and our company.

In addition, he explained, a city council member claims there is a connection between legal skill games and crime in the city.

“Looking at city crime data, we find no connection whatsoever with our games,” he said. “Any assertions counter to that are just not true. We have worked with law enforcement in the past because we want to continue to be good community partners.”

Pennsylvania Skill games have been an essential lifeline to businesses that have been limping through the pandemic. Business owners say skill game revenue has helped them pay staff, keep up with maintenance and even pay their electric bills.

This ordinance does not impact Pace-O-Matic’s Pennsylvania Skill game, and our operators and locations may continue to make them available for play. The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania has ruled that Pace-O-Matic’s Pennsylvania Skill games are regulated by the crimes code of Pennsylvania. Not only are criminal provisions generally regarded as “regulatory” in nature, but the Commonwealth Court’s POM of Pennsylvania, LLC decision in 2019 expressly referred to Section 5513 as “the Crimes Code regulation of illegal gambling devices and slot machines.” POM of Pennsylvania, LLC v. Dep't of Revenue, 221 A.3d 717, 736 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2019)

The Pennsylvania Skill game has been adjudicated and ruled a legal game of predominant skill by the Beaver County Court of Common Pleas. Pace-O-Matic has since brought an additional lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in Commonwealth Court to cement the legal status of the game.

Supporters in the legislature introduced a measure to further regulate and tax legal games of skill. The legislation would create a comprehensive regulatory structure with additional tax revenue for the state, counties and localities. Pennsylvania Skill supports the bill.

Pace-O-Matic supports regulated skill games in Wyoming, Georgia, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

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CONTACT: 1-877-448-4263 Pace-O-Matic 717-576-6733 michael.barley@paceomatic.com