In 2021, the Monroe County District Attorney’s office conducted illegal raids on the firm and took possession of Pace-O-Matic’s (the company behind Pennsylvania Skill games) assets. Slot machines and other gambling hardware and cash were part of the confiscated property. Last week, Monroe County, Pennsylvania ruled a return of property case in favor of the company marking yet another milestone for skill games in the state.
In the ruling, suppressing the suppressed property was deemed illegal because the Commonwealth unlawfully concealed and misrepresented key evidence before the execution of the search warrant.
“The court finds that the Commonwealth improperly withheld and misrepresented material evidence relative to the issuance of the search warrant in this matter and that such conduct warrants the suppression of the seized property… The court finds that the devices at issue are legal games of skill and that the commonwealth has failed to establish that the devices, as designed, are games of chance.”Monroe County Common Pleas Judge Jennifer Harlacher Sibum
Pace-O-Matic has recruited a team of ex-state police officers to oversee compliance. Notwithstanding setbacks, the company is also dedicated to working with the state General Assembly to seek legislation that would result in stricter regulations and more tax revenue for the state.
Another Win for Skill Games
Pace-O-Matic’s defense of its Pennsylvania Skill games is nothing new. Its skill games were deemed acceptable as games of predominant skill by the Beaver County Court of Common Pleas in 2014.
As part of a settlement agreement reached in 2022, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office and the Clearfield County District Attorney’s Office agreed to restore skill games, equipment, and cash that had been illegally taken in Pennsylvania
According to Mike Barley, a representative for Pace-O-Matic, this decision confirms the legitimacy of its games as games of skill. That is another huge win for Pace-O-Matic and its small business and fraternal partners in Pennsylvania’s Skill games. He also expressed his appreciation for the verdict made by the court, particularly in reference to the issue of safeguarding the company’s intellectual property.
Great News for Non-Profits and Small Businesses
Pace-O-Matic has been diligent in its efforts to aid non-profits and small businesses across the Commonwealth. Almost 90% of the proceeds from Pennsylvania Skill games are reinvested in the state.
Pennsylvania Skill game proceeds have also helped local fire departments, American Legion posts, and VFW posts around the state. According to Pace-O-Matic, these organizations can count on sales of their product to be a significant contributor to their bottom lines.
The ruling was thus quite critical of the district attorney’s office. Barley continued by stating the prosecutor’s actions were inappropriate and the company is extremely concerned about the motivations behind the coordinated effort to ruin Pace-O-Matic and the small businesses, clubs, and veteran groups who rely on revenue and support from skill games.