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PA Commonwealth Court Rules That Pennsylvania Skill Games Are Slot Machines

Parx Casino urges law enforcement to take action

HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In a blow to illegal gambling and a victory for families and communities in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court confirmed in a ruling today that video game machines manufactured and distributed by the company POM under the name "Pennsylvania Skill" are considered "slot machines" under Pennsylvania law.

"With this decision, we urge the Pennsylvania State Police, the Office of Attorney General, police departments and District Attorneys across the state to enforce Pennsylvania law to halt the proliferation of thousands of illegal Pennsylvania Skill slot machines now in convenience stores, bars, restaurants and other establishments in communities across the state," said Thomas C. Bonner Group VP / Legal & Chief Counsel for Parx Casino.

"We know that illegal slot machines and full-blown illegal casinos are popping up all over Pennsylvania. We know that minors are gambling, and we know that the state Lottery is losing tens of millions of dollars that should be going to our seniors because of these illegal machines. It's time to confiscate these machines and put these illegal casinos out of business," Bonner added.

POM had argued that their machines were a "game of skill" and therefore not a slot machine under Pennsylvania law. The manufacture, set up, sale, lease, or ownership of a "slot machine" for gambling purposes is illegal under the Pennsylvania Crime Code,  Title 18 Section 5513, and these machines are subject to forfeiture under the law.

The Commonwealth Court's clarification that the "Pennsylvania Skill" games are "slot machines" under Pennsylvania law provides concrete and clear legal justification for law enforcement at the state and local levels to confiscate such machines and prosecute those responsible for manufacturing, distributing, leasing, or owning these machines.

The ruling is POM of Pennsylvania, LLC v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.


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