Pace-O-Matic, a Pennsylvania-based skill games maker is on the warpath right now. The company which owns the Pennsylvania Skill brand just filed a lawsuit against a rival company.
The lawsuit alleges that a gaming operator in the state is using a competitor’s illegal gambling machines. We must point out that Pace-O-Matic has faced a similar lawsuit in the past.
The lawsuit has not yet been made public but some of the details have been leaked.
Pace-O-Matic has alleges that 3C Amusements is running illegal gambling devices and advertising itself as a casino. The lawsuit points out that all the gaming machines involved are more chance-based rather than skill-based – which is illegal under Pennsylvania law.
Pace-O-Matic offers machines that are like slot games but have certain aspects that allow players to influence the results. The ability to influence the results are carried out either by the players’ ability to recognize patterns or their fast reflexes. If they perform well, they will be able to win and receive rewards. These machines are labelled as skilled gaming machines as they require an element of skill to be involved in order for a win to be made. The machines in the lawsuit do not have the skill factor attached to them and hence they are chance based machines which are illegal in Pennsylvania.
Pace-O-Matic is no stranger to such a lawsuit since the company was accused of this very same issue back in 2014. The claims against the company’s machines were over the fact that they did not allow players to win on their skill but by pure chance. However, the Pennsylvania State Court determined that Pace-O-Matic’s games were basing wins and rewards on skill so they permitted the machines to stay in circulation.
According to Pennsylvania law, a device can only be deemed a gambling device if it meets all three of the following requirements: it allows a stake, the results are based on chance, and there is a reward. Since the court deemed that Pace-O-Matic’s machines required an element of skill to win, they could not be considered gambling devices.
Other States Not So Lenient
Other states are not so permissive with skill based gaming machines. In the states of Colorado, Idaho and Virginia, even if a device allows for skill to influence the results, it is considered gambling since there is a stake and a reward involved. Pennsylvania may soon follow suit as legislators are hoping to ban any machine that offers anything resembling gambling activity unless prior approval has been obtained.
Senator Tommy Tomlinson recently filed legislation to that effect over concerns regarding unregulated and unlicensed gambling in the state.