CLEARFIELD – Pace-O-Matic (PoM), one of the companies behind the “Pennsylvania Skill Machines,” and the Clearfield County District Attorney’s Office have reached an agreement in regards to the seizure of machines from multiple establishments in September by the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) and Bureau of Liquor Control and Enforcement (BLCE).
District Attorney Ryan Sayers agreed to withhold moving forward with any criminal prosecutions, but the State Police and Liquor Enforcement will continue with the investigation of these gambling devices.
While the redemption terminals and certain monies are being returned, Sayers said the gambling devices that were seized will not be retuned as the investigations proceed.
The district attorney further agreed to not conduct further seizures or pursue criminal charges as long as an establishment has no more than five machines, thereby prohibiting the existence of ‘mini-casinos,’ pending the outcome of the lawsuits filed by PoM in the Commonwealth Court related to seizures of one version of its devices.
“In no way is this agreement an acknowledgement that any of these machines are legal,” said Sayers.
“As discussed with the attorneys for PoM, the concern for this office is the unregulated nature of these gambling devices and the existence of mini-casinos.
“PoM agreeing to limit the number of machines in any establishment, and to prohibit providing machines to any establishment whose primary income are these machines (‘mini-casinos’) is an acceptable resolution at this time.”
“I want to thank the men and women with the State Police and Liquor Enforcement for their hard work in regards to this matter, and their ongoing efforts in regards to these investigations.
“Their job is to protect the people of Pennsylvania by enforcing the gambling laws of the Commonwealth and stopping the proliferation of gambling devices.”
Based on the investigations of these machines and the way they are actually played, Sayers agrees with PSP that these machines possess all three characteristics of gambling devices: inserting money to play, outcomes determined primarily by chance (as opposed to skill) and cash payouts.
However, Sayers said with the pending appellate case it was agreed to hold off on litigation as both sides await the appellate court’s decision.
He said it’s important to note that this agreement does not prohibit the BLCE from taking enforcement action against establishments or businesses with a liquor or alcohol license because that is an administrative matter outside the purview of the district attorney.
Additionally, the Attorney General’s Office still has the ability to bring criminal charges, Sayers said.