The Pennsylvania skill games debate isn’t going away anytime soon. As gambling revenue in the Keystone State reached a record high of $5.7 billion last year, Pace-O-Matic (POM), a Georgia-based skill games manufacturer, “congratulated” Pennsylvania casinos on a momentous 2023.
The congratulatory message wasn’t exactly heartfelt, as POM attacked Pennsylvania casinos for standing in the way of skill games regulation in the Keystone State.
The regulated gaming industry claims that skill games take away business from retail and PA online casinos.
POM blasts Keystone State casinos after record gambling revenue last year
The gambling industry in Pennsylvania is booming after the state set a record in 2023, accumulating $5.7 billion in revenue. Pennsylvania casinos led the way, especially in slot production, generating $2.5 billion, which is the highest amount since 2013.
Despite the record numbers, Pennsylvania casinos are vehemently against skill games and want them banned for several reasons, mainly because of competition and lack of consumer protections. However, the Commonwealth Court’s latest decision ruled skill games as legal in the Keystone State.
POM sarcastically congratulated the regulated gambling industry on record totals in a press release. POM’s Chief Public Affairs Officer, Mike Barley, said:
“Here we are again congratulating Pennsylvania’s casino industry on record profits. It’s time for casinos to stop lobbing attacks against skill games. These revenue numbers are the latest proof that skill games have no impact on casinos’ bottom line. Any assertion otherwise is either misguided or intentionally misleading.”
Skill games have been placed in convenience stores, fraternal organizations, bars, restaurants and veterans groups all across the state.
POM has been pitching lawmakers the benefits of regulating skill games, which would create tax money for PA. Barley said:
“How often do industries come to the legislature asking to be regulated? We want lawmakers to look past this harmful narrative spun by the casinos – that is not backed by facts – and support small businesses by passing commonsense regulation of skill games.”
Updates for skill games court case in Pennsylvania
This isn’t the first time POM has stood up the regulated gambling industry. Prior to the state setting its latest gambling record, Barley blasted the industry last month in another press release.
Despite the polarizing topic, skill games appear to be staying in the Keystone State, with the Commonwealth Court’s latest ruling.
However, the regulated industry isn’t going down without a fight. The following organizations filed amicus briefs to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court earlier this month:
- Pennsylvania casinos
- Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB)
- American Gaming Association (AGA)
- Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office (OAG)
It’s possible that the case will be heard at the highest court. Should the games be regulated, a tax framework introduced by Pennsylvania Senator Gene Yaw (R-23) could supposedly generate approximately $300 million in immediate annual tax revenue.
There’s a lot riding on what comes next between members of the regulated gambling industry and skill games manufacturers. Neither side is backing down, either.