Harrisburg, PA, June 09, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pace-O-Matic, which powers Pennsylvania Skill games, today amended its lawsuit in Commonwealth Court against the Pennsylvania Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement (BLCE) by adding the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) as a defendant, stating that they engaged in coordinated harassment against Pennsylvania Skill operators and location owners where legal skill games are played at the urging, behest, and direct direction of big casino interests.
The company is seeking to permanently block BLCE and PGCB from targeting Pace-O-Matic (POM) games and the veterans’ organizations, fraternal clubs, and small businesses where the games are located.
The complaint indicates that the BLCE and PGCB were actively in communication and directed by casinos and their agents to target POM skill games and their customers. Based on credible information, it became clear that the PGCB, acting at the urging and direction of casinos, actively coordinated and funded attacks and raids of skill games. To do this, PGCB used funds it controls and can allocate to county district attorneys and local law enforcement agencies to assist in crime associated with casinos.
For example, Monroe County District Attorney’s Office – which seized and criminally charged locations maintaining only POM skill games – is in active contact with PGCB for grant money, assistance for training detectives, transmitting charging documents and seeking technical help in bringing its prosecution against POM games. The casinos, BLCE and PGCB collaborated to steer grant money to Monroe County District Attorney’s Office for the specific purpose of prosecuting possessors of Pennsylvania Skill games and then facilitated and aided in those prosecutions, even though PGCB, according to Commonwealth Court, does not regulate skill games. See POM of Pennsylvania, LLC v. Dept. of Revenue, 221 A.2d 717 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2019)
“This lawsuit makes it clear that the casino industry is in control of PGCB,” said Mike Barley, spokesman for Pace-O-Matic. “Entities meant to be regulated by PGCB are instead directing PGCB’s actions. This is a tremendous breach of the public’s trust, as government agencies, at the urging of the big gambling casino lobby, executed a direct assault on the legal skill game industry and countless Pennsylvania businesses, VFWs, American Legions, fraternal, and other social clubs who depend on this revenue to exist.”
Barley added that the amended complaint shows clear coordination by the BLCE and PGCB in their efforts to harm legal, for-profit businesses in Pennsylvania, simply because the casino industry views skill games as a threat.
“The goal of our lawsuit is to have these government entities cease their attacks against skill games, Pennsylvania small businesses, and fraternal or social clubs,” he said.
Casino operators, which continue to see record revenue, have opposed skill games for years saying they cut into casino profits. Research by a Villanova University economics professor, however, shows this is not the case.
Pennsylvania Skill operates games in locally owned small businesses such as bars, restaurants and convenience stores, along with fraternal organizations and veterans’ groups.
Skill games can be won every time if the player uses mental skill and patience, unlike slot machines that are based on pure chance. In 2014, a common pleas court determined that Pennsylvania Skill games are legal because of the skill factor.
This article was originally published on June 9, 2022, by Bakersfield Californian.