Pace-O-Matic (POM) a Pennsylvania skill-game machine couldn’t make the gaming laws work in its favor. In a Wednesday ruling, the state Commonwealth Court said that they should consider the skills game machines as slot machines. This makes POM a manufacturer and distributor of slots that bring it under the purview of the state gaming law.
What happens next?
The court’s decision will affect the skill game machines by POM places in restaurants, bars, and convenience stores. The court has not granted the Department of Revenue a summary judgment in this case, which states that the company violated rules of the Gaming Act. It reasoned that the Act was not applicable to unlicensed slot machines.
POM and the Department of Revenue have always been in friction about the legal status of the gaming machines. The company suggests that its machines have games of skill. They have features that make users repeat some patterns that demand skills.
Even the arcade-style shooting games, included as bonus games require quick responses, not a random draw like a lottery. It specifies that the element of luck is far outweighed by the element of skill because of which they cannot be classified as a slot machine. In 2014, a Commonwealth Court backed up that argument.
When did things change?
Three years after the judgement, the state made some changes to its gaming laws. Most casinos in the state had started using games of skill in their premises to attract the millennial patrons. The decision affected POM as well. The company sued the City of Philadelphia and the Department of Revenue in June 2018.
The lawsuit came after the city raided its operations in 11 different areas, seized funds, and arrested employees. The company wanted a judgement that declared its games legal under state law. It also said that the city did not have adequate authority to seize its games and prosecute it.
The City and Department sued the company in response and sought a declaration that all its machines will be considered slots. It also said that the operation, possession, and manufacturing of such machines is to be regulated by the state Gaming Act. The operation of such machines should depend exclusively on a license issued by the state Gaming Control Board.
Judge Patricia McCullough said that POM machines should be subject to the Gaming Act as it satisfies the definition of a slot machine. POM runs over 5,000 slot machines across the state.