As skill games spread across Pennsylvania, officials rush to catch up

As skill games spread across Pennsylvania, officials rush to catch up

Article brief provided by The Tribune-Democrat
  • Dave Sutor, The Tribune-Democrat
May 18, 2024 2:56 PM
  • Dave Sutor, The Tribune-Democrat

Michael Barley, Pace-O-Matic’s chief public affairs officer, describes the company’s interactive video Pennsylvania Skill games as akin to golf or blackjack – in which a player can increase chances of winning by making certain educated decisions.

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But Josh Ercole, executive director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania, views them as betting devices.

Pennsylvania’s courts have consistently ruled that playing the machines involves skill, and therefore they can be placed in businesses without regard to gaming laws.

As a result, there are now approximately 18,000 Pennsylvania Skill games, designed by the Pace-O-Matic software company, in the state. That total does not include machines from other companies such as Georgia-based Banilla Games.