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Pennsylvania Supreme Court to Decide Whether Skill Games Constitute Gambling

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court to Decide Whether Skill Games Constitute Gambling


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Pennsylvania Supreme Court to Decide Whether Skill Games Constitute Gambling


As the skill games saga rages on, it would appear that their fate is set to be decided by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. While many PA online casinos continue to clamor for their regulation, demanding that they be taxed in the same way as other casino games, lawmakers and the general public in the Keystone State have held largely conflicting views about the matter.

Now, according to a news report by Associated Press (AP), the matter will be decided once and for all by the highest court in the state.

Court Decision to Pave Way for Tax Regulations

This is expected to be a landmark decision, in that it will remove any ambiguity while allowing lawmakers to legislate appropriately with respect to the regulation of skill games. As things stand, these games are a common sight across many corner stores, gas stations and bars in Pennsylvania, with the American Gaming Association estimating that there are some 67,000 scattered around the state. 

So far, only Philadelphia took the drastic step of banning them outright, and the city is facing its own lawsuit from Pace-O-Matic, the leading distributors of such games within the state. The court will be deciding whether the skill games fall into the category of gambling machines if the “so-called skill element that is almost entirely hidden from view and is almost impossible to complete,” according to a statement given by Attorney General Michelle Henry’s office. The court will also be deciding how the term slot machines should be defined.

Should the Pennsylvania Supreme Court go ahead and declare skill games to constitute gambling, it will be running directly against a November 2023 ruling by the Commonwealth Court where the court stated the element of skill required stopped these games from being classified as gambling.


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