IRS Seizes Over $400,000 From Previous Pennsylvania Skill Games Director

Written By Corey Sharp on January 12, 2024
Photo of the IRS building in Washington for a story about the IRS investigating a former Pennsylvania skill games director and seizing over $400,000 worth of assets.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) seized more than $400,000 from Rick Goodling, a former Pennsylvania state corporal and compliance director for Pace-O-Matic (POM), potentially tied to his involvement with Pennsylvania skill games.

Different levels of the state government have seized machines and money from skill games operators. However, the IRS is going after Goodling’s assets.

Pennsylvania skill games have been a polarizing topic within the state, as they impact both retail and PA online casinos.

IRS freezes assets of former PA skill games executive

In a criminal investigation document obtained by PlayPennsylvania, the report shows the IRS seized cash and three of Goodling’s bank accounts:

  • US currency valued at $152,862
  • Bank account #1 valued at $81,871.30
  • Bank account #2 valued at $13,906.07
  • Bank account #3 valued at $194,413.23

According to the Pennsylvania Capital-Star, Goodling served as compliance director for POM, a Georgia-based skill games manufacturer, before resigning more than a month ago.

The publication also reached out to an IRS spokesperson, Eric Smith, who could not comment any further on the matter. POM spokesperson, Mike Barley, told the Pennsylvania Capital-Star:

“We have and will continue to cooperate fully with the IRS investigation and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement regarding this issue.”

It is to be determined whether the IRS’ issue is with Goodling’s personal tax filing or if skill games themselves have any bearing on the matter.

Latest update on Pennsylvania skill games case

While the reason for the IRS’ investigation around Goodling is unclear, the status of Pennsylvania skill games gained more clarity last month. However, legal proceedings are far from over.

The Commonwealth Court unanimously ruled skill games as legal last month. The court order said:

“In light of our conclusion that the POM machines are not slot machines under the Crimes Code, we need not resolve this further dispute of the parties. Regardless of which interpretation is proper, because the POM machines are not slot machines, the POM machines are not illegal per se.”

The decision put the entire regulated gambling community up in arms, which is vehemently against skill games, especially most Pennsylvania casinos. Despite the Commonwealth Court’s ruling, the case could end up in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

The following organizations filed amicus briefs to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court last week:

  • Pennsylvania casinos
  • Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB)
  • American Gaming Association (AGA)
  • Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office (OAG)

It’s obvious skill games are sticking around for the time being, unless the highest court reverses the decision. Barley has expressed interest in regulating skill games, too.

Pennsylvania Senator Gene Yaw (R-23) created a tax framework earlier this year that would regulate skill games. Regulation could generate an estimated $300 million in immediate annual tax revenue, according to Yaw.

It’ll be interesting to see how Goodling’s case moves forward and how it affects Pennsylvania skill games, if at all.

Photo by Patrick Semansky / AP
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Corey Sharp

Corey Sharp is the Lead Writer at PlayPennsylvania bringing you comprehensive coverage of sports betting and gambling in Pennsylvania. Corey is a 4-for-4 Philly sports fan and previously worked as a writer and editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer and NBC Sports Philadelphia.

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