The issue of skill games legality has been a controversial topic in Pennsylvania for several years. Pace-O-Matic, a prominent developer of skill games, has advocated for the benefit of these devices to small businesses. However, the lack of active regulation on such machines has been a cause for concern.
A recent development in this ongoing debate is the investigation and subsequent seizure of assets belonging to Rick Goodling, a former director at Pace-O-Matic. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) confiscated over $400,000 in cash and accounts belonging to Goodling, who previously served as the national director of compliance for the skill games developer.
Specifically, the IRS seized $152,862 in cash, as well as funds from Goodling’s PNC Bank, PESCU Credit Union, and Bogowe Consulting accounts. Goodling, who had a nearly 30-year career as a police officer with the Pennsylvania State Police before retiring in 2019, played a key role in a team that targeted illegal gaming machines in the state.
In response to the investigation, Pace-O-Matic’s chief of public relations, Mike Barley, confirmed that Goodling had left the company after the company became aware of the IRS investigation. Barley asserted that Pace-O-Matic would fully cooperate with the IRS and law enforcement in addressing the issue.
Last year, a significant victory for skill games businesses was achieved when the Commonwealth Court in Pennsylvania upheld a lower court’s decision to recognize winnings from skill games as legal. This decision solidified skill games’ status as legal entertainment options, not illegal gambling machines subject to seizure.
Despite this legal validation, critics, such as gambling operators, continue to oppose skill games. Barley condemned the efforts of gambling operators, accusing them of targeting small restaurant and bar owners and fraternal groups that rely on skill games for additional revenue.
Senator Gene Yaw has called for the regulation and taxation of skill game machines, estimating that this could generate approximately $300 million in revenue for the state in the first year.
The controversy surrounding the legality of skill games in Pennsylvania continues to be a point of contention, with ongoing debates and legal battles shaping the landscape for businesses and supporters of skill games.