Video Game Machines Ruled as Slot Machines in Pennsylvania

This just in today: the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court recently ruled that video game machines called “Pennsylvania Skill”, manufactured and distributed by Pace-O-Matic (POM) are considered “slot machines” under the state law. The Pennsylvania Crime Code, Title 18 Section 5513, provides that it is illegal to manufacture, set up, sell, lease, or own a “slot machine” for gambling purposes, and these machines are subject to confiscation by authorities.

Video game machines/video gaming terminals are machines that allow gamblers to bet on the outcome of a video game. In Pennsylvania, they are found in gas stations and convenience stores. Up until today, they were in a bit of a legal grey area and those who argued in favour of their legality tended to present them as “games of skill”, as distinguished from traditional slot machines, which involve random luck. After this decision, it looks like law enforcement authorities have greater legal justification for seizing these machines and prosecuting those involved in their manufacture and distribution.

About the recent decision of POM of Pennsylvania LLC v Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

Some links for background context: