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Ruling could pave way for changes to ‘games of skill’ in PA

A court ruling could change how gaming is handled in Pennsylvania, especially when it comes to games of skill. The Commonwealth Court of PA sided with Pace-O-Ma...

A court ruling could change how gaming is handled in Pennsylvania, especially when it comes to games of skill.

The Commonwealth Court of PA sided with Pace-O-Matic (POM) in the case involving the Commonwealth of PA Department of Revenue and city of Philadelphia.

The POM game is primarily found in taverns, restaurants and social clubs that serve alcohol. The POM devices host games such as tic tac toe.

POM said the games are games of skill.

“Our game is a game where if the person has the patience, they can win,” said Tom Marino, Vice President of legislative affairs, public relations and general counsel for POM.

Therefore, Marino said, the games are not games of chance such as slot machines.

But the Department and Revenue & city of Philadelphia argued the games are unlicensed slot machines that were not following guidelines from the Pennsylvania gaming act.

In the case, the court agreed with POM, finding that the company is indeed not part of the Gaming Act.

POM said that from 2017-2018, Philadelphia conducted 11 separate seizures of the POM game, arrested employees and seized funds.

Marino said, “there are many illegal operators out there” but he stressed his company is not one of them.

But, he admits, regulations for skill-based gaming are lacking in Pennsylvania. And, he said, he is working with lawmakers to fix that so people don’t confuse illegal gaming with legitimate gaming companies like his.

“We are working with those people up there, the legislators. We are going through the front door and we are saying regulate us,” said Marino.

FOX43 reached out the Department of Revenue to ask if an appeal is pending. The Department said they are currently reviewing the courts decision.

Read the ruling here.