Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Unanimously and Definitively Rules Pennsylvania Skill, powered by Pace-O-Matic, a Legal Game of Skill

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HARRISBURG, PA, Nov. 30, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania unanimously ruled that Pace-O-Matic’s (POM) Pennsylvania Skill games are legal games of skill. Click here to read the Commonwealth Court Decision on the Dauphin County Case.

In the case, originally brought forth in Dauphin County, the Commonwealth Court ruled that the POM game is a game of predominant skill, not a game of chance, and that the “POM machines are not slot machines [and] the POM machines are not illegal” as noted in 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,” said Paul Goldean, President and CEO of Pace-O-Matic. “This is also a win for many players across the commonwealth who enjoy skill games as a popular entertainment option. Our games have always been legal, and this ruling proves that once and for all.”

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In the ruling, the Commonwealth Court states explicitly that “POM machines are not slot machines” and goes on to reject the Commonwealth’s intentionally broad definition of a slot machine to include games of predominant skill, going so far as to state that “such an interpretation is inappropriate.”

The court agrees with the appellees that “substantial evidence supports the trial court’s legal conclusion that skill predominates over chance” in the POM game. The court also states in the ruling that the Commonwealth’s argument that the game’s skill-based elements are secondary, insignificant, or hidden is “factually untrue.”

The court therefore concludes that “POM machines are not gambling devices” and “therefore, do not constitute derivative contraband” and that “these electronic games are not illegal.”

Lastly, the court notes that “the Commonwealth was aware of adverse legal authority [referring to the Pinnacle case in which the POM game was determined a game of skill], it was required to cite and distinguish it.” Yet the Commonwealth omitted it. The court goes on to state that they “caution the Commonwealth that the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct require candor toward the tribunal and, specifically, the disclosure of directly adverse authority.

Chief Public Affairs Officer Michael Barley added, “We have won every Pennsylvania county court decision that has questioned the legality of our games, and this ruling should put an end to any discussion on the matter. Additionally, the Court took note and objected to the continued actions of state actors who have purposefully ignored the law, and court decisions, continually and purposefully misrepresented how our games operate, and put their fingers down on the scales of justice in a reckless attempt to have our skill games found illegal. Largely at the behest of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and a handful of casinos, led by Parx Casino. Thankfully, the court saw through those actions, analyzed the facts, and ruled appropriately our games are legal games of skill.”

Earlier this month, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania also affirmed the return of several skill game terminals by the Court of Common Pleas of Monroe County – in doing so, also ruling the POM game a legal game of skill.

Click here to read the Commonwealth Court’s opinion on the Monroe County case.

“Now that this ruling is in place, I hope we can focus on the more pressing matter of regulating and taxing skill games,” Barley concluded. “We are urging the General Assembly to pass reasonable legislation, not only to support the small businesses and organizations who benefit from skill games but to generate tax revenue for the state while also to giving law enforcement the framework they need to tackle illegal gambling. It’s a win-win for the commonwealth.”

About Pace-O-Matic
POM is a leading developer of legally compliant games of skill in the United States. Its games are played in thousands of small restaurants and bars, along with many social halls such as American Legion and Veterans of Foreign War posts.  Our games generated millions of dollars in revenue for businesses and clubs in Pennsylvania last year.

CONTACT: 1-877-448-4263 Pace-O-Matic 717-576-6733 [email protected] 

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