Pace-O-Matic, the industry leader in legal skill games, has said the continuing record-breaking gambling revenue across the United States, more than $60bn, shows without a doubt, legal skill games have no impact on gambling.
The information recently released from the American Gaming Association shows the revenue from last year broke the previous record of $53bn set in 2021. An estimated 84 million adults in the United States – about 34 per cent of the population – went to a casino in 2022.
“When you are continuously hitting the jackpot on revenue, you can’t at the same time complain that skill games are a threat to your casino business,” said Mike Barley, spokesman for Pace-O-Matic. “It doesn’t work that way. The numbers are the numbers.”
Despite the revenue numbers that continue to go up, some casinos and other gambling entities say they are impacted by skill games. Yet, Barley explained, as the number of legal skill games increases in markets, casino profits do as well.
As an example, in Pennsylvania, where Pace-O-Matic legal games can be found across the commonwealth, gambling revenue rose 18 per cent in January, compared to 12 months ago. In December 2022, casinos reported just under $475m in revenue, and in-person slots generated the most revenue.
Barley says skill game players and casino players are looking for different types of experience and therefore, there is no competition. Skill games are found in mom-and-pop stores, small restaurants, grocery stores, veterans’ posts, fraternal clubs and fire halls. Skill game players usually play the games at an establishment in their community.
“It’s just not the case that a couple headed to a casino decides instead to stop off at an Elks Club to play skill games instead,” said Barley. “Trying to say that the two experiences are the same for players is ridiculous. We don’t have the flashing lights and wall-to-wall games. For us, it’s maybe five games in a corner of a neighborhood restaurant.”
Instead of pointing fingers at legal skill games, national gambling forces should team up with Pace-O-Matic to stop bad actors. Pace-O-Matic is calling for further regulation along with taxation of legal skill games at a state level. This would not only shut down illegal games but provide increased tax revenue for states.