Pace-O-Matic Sarcastically Congratulates Pennsylvania Casinos — Once Again

Written By Corey Sharp on February 26, 2024
Image showing slot machines in the background and the PA state outline featuring the Pace-O-Matic logo for a story about the PA skill games manufacturer sending out another

Pace-O-Matic (POM), a Georgia-based skill games manufacturer, isn’t afraid to speak its mind. The American Gaming Association (AGA) announced record profits for the commercial casino industry last week. POM, once again, offered up a congratulatory message to casinos.

POM’s tone of the message is also clearly trying to get across its attempt to regulate skill games, especially in Pennsylvania. However, the casino industry is fighting back, claiming that the games lack consumer protections and take business away from retail and PA online casinos.

POM continues to fight for Pennsylvania skill games regulation

POM takes a shot at Pennsylvania casinos whenever it gets the chance. This is the third time in three months record profits have been made public, and the skill games manufacturer published a press release “congratulating” the industry.

Just days before the new year, POM asked for “commonsense regulations” in a bashing of Pennsylvania casinos.

Then, in January, after the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) announced record gaming earnings for 2023, POM made a case that skill games had “no impact” on Pennsylvania casinos.

Once the AGA released record gaming profits, POM came out swinging again. In a press release published late last week, POM Chief Public Affairs Officer Mike Barley said:

“On behalf of the local small businesses, restaurants, bars, and fraternal organizations that the casino industry is determined to put out of business, we extend the warmest congratulations to big casinos for their $66.5 billion in winnings. It’s not every day you see such record profits. Now our only question is, where are these losses the industry, and specifically casinos in Pennsylvania, are claiming to be connected to skill games?”

According to the AGA, Pennsylvania is the second-largest gaming state behind Nevada. The PGCB reported a record of $5.7 billion in revenue last year for the Keystone State.

3 Keystone State casinos appear in AGA’s top 20 facilities outside Nevada again

POM’s argument is that its skill games do not impact the Pennsylvania casino industry in any way. Last December, two PA casinos landed on the AGA’s top 10 list for Q3 2023. A total of three PA facilities were honored in the AGA’s most recent top 20 commercial establishments outside of Nevada based on overall 2023 revenue:

  • Parx Casino Bensalem (7th): $600 million
  • Wind Creek Bethlehem (10th): $525 million
  • Rivers Casino Pittsburgh (16th): $375 million

Pennsylvania casinos produced $3.44 billion in slots and table games earnings last year, which accounted for more than 60% of the $5.7 billion in yearly revenue.

PA casinos have been as profitable as ever, as Barley added in the press release:

“The casino industry continues to attack skill games for loss of revenue, yet these losses don’t seem to appear in any of their reporting. While they spin misleading information, we will stick to the facts. The fact is, that skill games are a legal source of income that Pennsylvania’s small businesses rely on every day to make ends meet.”

Pennsylvania skill games are currently permitted within the state after the Commonwealth Court ruled the games legal last December.

Gov. Josh Shapiro included tax revenue from skill games in his proposed FY 2024/2025 budget. The state could stand to make more than $300 million by FY 2025/2026.

Philadelphia attempting to limit PA skill games

Not only is POM fighting Pennsylvania casinos, but it is also taking on legislators once again. Despite the legality of skill games, Philadelphia introduced a new bill that has already passed through Committee last week.

The bill is listed under the Committee on Public Safety, which controls the proposal. It reads:

“It shall be unlawful for a business to operate any casino-style or skill game that accepts cash payment for the chance of a cash reward and is not otherwise regulated by the State of Pennsylvania.”

The only establishments able to carry skill games under this proposed bill are any licensed casino facility or a business with an alcohol license that has 30 or more seats for customers to consume food and/or beverages.

POM representative Matt Haverstick told 6ABC that the company is filing a lawsuit to fight the bill.

POM is certainly doing everything in its power to stay relevant in Pennsylvania.

Photo by PlayPennsylvania
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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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