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PA Skill Games Still Battling Their Regulatory Struggles - PennsylvaniaCasinos.com News : PennsylvaniaCasinos.com News
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The Keystone State finds itself embroiled in a contentious debate over proposed regulations for PA Skill games, pitting local businesses against casinos. While the Pennsylvania Senate has been recently deliberating, the two sides hold differing views on the necessity and scope of these regulations.

“It is something that’s helping local eateries, convenience stores, and organizations like the VFW and American Legion as they deal with all the different things, inflation, and other things that are going on in the market.”

Pace-O-Matic’s Chief Public Affairs Officer Michel Barley said as he emphasized the importance of PA Skill games.

Casey Clark, senior vice president of the American Gaming Association, is among many who have voiced worries about the absence of consumer safeguards in these games, arguing that there is a lack of thorough regulation. Moreover, there is no verification of the age of the customer or the identity of the person playing these devices when they are left to the discretion of a store clerk.

The Pushback

Developers of skill games are working together with state officials to lobby for the approval of Senate Bill 706, which would address several concerns surrounding the current level of regulation. Proponents of PA Skill Games want to restrict the total number of terminals, set a maximum wager, and charge an extra tax with the new law. Because of this, they would be confined to areas with age restrictions. And yes, they might want safeguards in place that protect both players and businesses while ensuring a fair playing field.

It is hardly surprising that many casinos remain resistant to this proposal, given their belief that the proposed restrictions do not go far enough regarding giving them confidence about regulation. In particular, they point out that under the proposed laws, skill games would be taxed at a rate of 16% whereas casinos in Pennsylvania are already taxed at a rate of 55%. However, the makers of skill games believe that they should be taxed at a lower rate since 85% of the money already stays inside Pennsylvania.

There are valid points on both divides but as it has been quite some time, we have quite a long way to go with debate. The fate of the new restrictions is unclear since Senate Bill 706 is still being discussed in committee and has not yet been voted on.

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