Globe NewswireOther News

Pennsylvania Skill Congratulates Casinos on $504 Million in April Revenue

85

PA Skill says casinos should stop lying about impact of skill games on their industry

Harrisburg, PA, May 20, 2024 – Pennsylvania Skill, powered by Pace-O-Matic (POM), applauded the April revenue reports that show the gaming industry in the state made more than $504 million for the third time since April of last year. Pennsylvania gaming grossed nearly $1.7 billion in commercial revenue in just the first three months of 2024, second only to the casino capital of the United States, Nevada.

The funding comes from slot machines, table games, internet gaming, sports wagering, fantasy contests and video gaming terminals (VGTs).

As the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) celebrates yet another big financial month, however, casinos continue to falsely claim their revenue is impacted by skill games.

“We want to know what the revenue number is that casinos need to hit, or the next record they need to break before they stop claiming skill games are competition,” said Mike Barley, chief public affairs officer for POM. “Every month, we read about their incredible revenue gains, and then the casino industry turns around and claims they are losing money because of skill games. Their arguments don’t pass the smell test.”

Instead of battling skill games, Barley said casinos should support legislation sponsored by Sen. Gene Yaw and Rep. Danilo Burgos that will regulate and tax skill games. There is bipartisan backing for the legislation that will place guardrails around skill game operations and provide as much as $250 million in skill game state tax revenue in just the first year. Gov. Josh Shapiro wants to see skill game tax revenue as part of his 2024-25 state budget.

Given the casino industry revenue gains so far this year, it is hard to understand why they are crying wolf. “It’s difficult to see how skill games are causing hardship for a billion-dollar industry,” Barley said, adding that there is room for both gambling and skill games in the Commonwealth. Since skill games entered the marketplace, gambling revenue has increased and broken records.

Several courts have ruled Pennsylvania Skill games are legal, including a unanimous Commonwealth Court last year. In addition to providing supplemental income to small businesses, many Pennsylvania Skill games are manufactured in Williamsport, and over 90 percent of the income they generate stays within the local economy and the state.

The baseless accusations, Barley explained, are an assault on small businesses, veterans groups, volunteer fire companies and other fraternal clubs across the state that count on legal skill games to make ends meet. Small business owners with skill games in their establishments are saying the revenue has saved their businesses.

Many of these locations rely on income from skill games to offer competitive wages and benefits to their employees, who are often heads of households supporting their families. This is what struggling families need right now, not another roadblock, Barley explained.

The proposed legislation limits the number of skill games per establishment to no more than five in LCB and lottery-licensed locations and up to ten at fraternal clubs.

Skill game distributors, operators and locations will be licensed and regulated through the Department of Revenue. The Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control & Enforcement and local law enforcement in counties of the first class would be responsible for policing the skill game industry, helping to crack down on illegal games encroaching on communities across the Commonwealth.

“Backing this legislation means speaking up for the little guy – volunteer fire companies, VFW posts, mom-and-pop shops, fraternal clubs, small businesses and their employees. I believe Pennsylvanians can sleep comfortably knowing that the big internationally owned casinos will continue to survive on their record profits.” Barley said.