On 9 December 2019, gaming machines, equipment and cash were seized during raids by agents of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Liquor Control and Enforcement (BLCE).
Following a hearing in Dauphin County Court, this raid was classed as wrongful, and both the Commonwealth and BLCE have been reprimanded for conducting themselves in a biased manner.
Mike Barley, Pace-O-Matic spokesman, said: “First and foremost, this ruling again reaffirms our status as legal games of skill.
“This is another tremendous victory for Pennsylvania Skill games, powered by Pace-O-Matic, and our Pennsylvania small business and fraternal partners.”
Dauphin County Common Pleas Judge Andrew H. Dowling, said: “All three of the Commonwealth witnesses opined that the games were predominantly games of chance.
“However, we do not find these opinions to be persuasive for a number of reasons.
“Initially, it is this Court’s belief that the Commonwealth’s investigation shows case bias.”
Dowling goes on to explain that one of the main points of evidence to support this claim is how one of the undercover officers acted while investigating the machines.
According to statements, the officer failed to properly investigate all elements of the game, including a notable Follow Me feature.
Dowling continued: “The Commonwealth is seeking to make all machines like the Pace-O-Matic machines into illegal gambling devices, and its whole approach and intent is to shut down games regardless of the actual gameplay.
“Thus, the Commonwealth as a whole is biased against the games, and its approach lacks case credibility.”
This is the second ruling against the seized property. The first hearing was held at Monroe County court.
Last month, Monroe County Common Pleas Judge Jennifer Harlacher Sibum, said: “The court finds that the Commonwealth improperly withheld and misrepresented material evidence relative to the issuance of the search warrant in this matter, and that such conduct warrants the suppression of the seized property.”