Published on: January 4, 2024, 09:43h.
Last updated on: January 4, 2024, 09:43h.
Last month’s historic ruling that gave Pennsylvania skill games legal standing is undergoing an appeal to the state’s Supreme Court.
The Commonwealth Court upheld a ruling that ordered several Pennsylvania Skill machines seized by state law enforcement to be returned to the host business. The court found that skill gaming does not equate to illegal gambling, thereby the Pennsylvania State Police had no right to confiscate the machines. The decision was based on the idea that a machine involving chance does not necessarily make it a gambling apparatus.
Pennsylvania Skill games, utilized in various retail locations, are powered by software from Georgia-based POM. The machines are made in Pennsylvania by Miele Manufacturing.
Following the Commonwealth Court’s decision, Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry announced her intention to appeal the case to the state’s highest court. Several land-based casinos in Pennsylvania plan to seek a review from the Supreme Court as well.
A regulated slot machine generates over half of its net proceeds in taxes for the state. Conversely, a skill machine doesn’t contribute any state or local tax benefit. Additionally, casino slots are regulated for fair play, which skill games are not.
The Attorney General argues the courts’ ruling could result in negative consequences for consumers and the state’s gaming industry, which is among the largest alongside Nevada and New Jersey.
The casinos allege that the unregulated and untaxed skill games are drawing business away from their gaming floors. They assert that many players who would normally visit their casinos are finding machines closer to home.
Various casinos have requested the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to reduce their number of slot machines, with some citing a decline in demand due in part to the emergence of skill games.
Harrah’s Philadelphia, for example, removed 563 slots in 2021.