Pennsylvania Skill, Powered by Pace-O-Matic, Ruled a Legal Game of Skill by Another Pennsylvania Court

By | April 18, 2023


Today, Pace-O-Matic announced the company won a return of property motion in York County, Pennsylvania. This property encompassing gaming machines, related equipment and cash, was wrongfully seized during raids conducted by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Liquor Control and Enforcement (BLCE).

“Pace-O-Matic’s Pennsylvania skill games are legal,” said the counsel for Pace-O-Matic, Matthew Haverstick of Kleinbard LLC. “The Commonwealth has wrongfully seized this equipment for years with no credible evidence that they are illegal. Today, the Commonwealth refused to present witnesses or make a case that the games are illegal. This issue as a matter of law is decided and the courts have ruled appropriately and consistently so.”

“Again, another Pennsylvania court has found that Pennsylvania skill games, powered by Pace-O-Matic, are legal games of predominant skill,” the Chief Public Affairs Officer for Pace-O-Matic, Mike Barley, said. “Our Pennsylvania skill game has been ruled a game of predominant skill by multiple courts across the Commonwealth. With the legality of our games upheld repeatedly, we are eager to work with the legislature to pass legislation that will fairly regulate and tax the skill game industry. Pace-O-Matic stands out among our competitors as the active driving force seeking additional regulation and taxation.”

Pennsylvania skill games, powered by Pace-O-Matic, have been ruled games of predominant skill by courts in Beaver, Dauphin, Monroe and York Counties. Additionally, after a review of the law and court decisions, our games have been returned to us in both Clearfield and Delaware Counties. Just last month, we received a favorable ruling in Dauphin County declaring Pennsylvania skill games legal. The Dauphin County Court ruling also castigates the Commonwealth and BLCE for their biased conduct.

“All three of the Commonwealth witnesses opined that the games were predominantly games of chance,” wrote Dauphin County Common Pleas Judge Andrew H Dowling. “However, we do not find these opinions to be persuasive for a number of reasons. Initially, it is this court’s belief that the Commonwealth’s investigation shows case bias. The Commonwealth is seeking to make all machines like the Pace-O-Matic machines into illegal gambling devices and their whole approach and intent is to shut down games regardless of the actual gameplay. The fact that Officer Wentsler never played the Follow Me feature while undercover is indicative of this. Thus, the Commonwealth as a whole is biased against the games and their approach lacks case credibility.”

Earlier this year, the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas ruled that our games are legal games of skill and alleged misconduct in the investigation and prosecution of legal skill games.

Last month, Monroe County Common Pleas Judge Jennifer Harlacher Sibum wrote: “The court finds that the Commonwealth improperly withheld and misrepresented material evidence relative to the issuance of the search warrant in this matter and that such conduct warrants the suppression of the seized property.”

Pennsylvania Skill has pumped new life into the Commonwealth’s small businesses, fraternal and social clubs and veterans’ organizations by providing them with an entertainment product that the public enjoys. Meanwhile, research data proves skill games do not impact the revenue of casinos and the lottery, achieving record profits yearly. Pennsylvania skill games are manufactured in the Commonwealth, and over 90% of the profits stay inside the state. That is unheard of in gaming and many other industries. Pace-O-Matic is proud of its record and looks forward to continuing to benefit Pennsylvania businesses, clubs, and taxpayers now and in the future.

Pace-O-Matic’s Pennsylvania skill products are manufactured by Miele Manufacturing in Williamsport, which has created nearly 200 direct jobs. Many of the materials used to make up the gaming machines come from companies in the Commonwealth. Additionally, Pennsylvania skill game revenue has become a lifeline to fraternal clubs and organizations across the Commonwealth including American Legions, VFWs and local fire companies.
As part of ongoing efforts to ensure compliance, Pace-O-Matic employs a team of former state police officers to enforce all terms of contracts and codes of conduct. These contracted terms limit the number of machines, where they are placed in a location and have protections in place to prevent anyone underage from playing the devices.

In 2014, the Beaver County Court of Common Pleas ruled that Pace-O-Matic’s Pennsylvania skill games are legal as games of predominant skill. In addition, last year, the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General and the Clearfield County District Attorney’s office negotiated a settlement to return wrongfully seized Pennsylvania Skill games, related equipment and cash.

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