Casino earnings continue to break records, even with mom and pop games of skill in the mix


As America’s gambling industry coalesces around legalized sports betting and slot machines begin to rotate state after state and virtual chips hit tables, a struggle for legitimacy remains in the landscape for some.

Makers of land-based cabinets with games of skill or chance may find themselves in something of a gray area – and they have reason to worry that business life isn’t always black and white for them.

People play and they really don’t care if the odds are against them. It only takes one lucky hit to recoup losses and possibly swing into wide positive territory. Most people understand that lucky breaks might never come, and they’re fine with it… paying content to play for entertainment value as long as they at least have a chance to win big.

gambling is the new big thing go by numbers. The industry is well regulated, with independent labs auditing the programs and random number generators, comparing actual return to player percentages to the theoretical RTP to verify the math and fairness of the games.

More than an attorney for American casinos

The American Gaming Association is a natural supporter of regulated gambling, but also uses its political clout to try to stifle competition from its members. When it comes to online casinos that operate under offshore licenses and are perfectly legal at the federal level, although not in all states, the association tends to demonize the operators as illegal, unlicensed and unregulated. In fact, 99.9% of all offshore casinos are licensed where they are registered.

Regarding state restrictions, it’s worth noting that IGT, now part of a world lottery conglomerate formerly known as GTECH, asked a federal court for final clarification as to whether or not online casino gaming and lottery sales that crossed state lines fell within its purview Wire Act 1961.

Each government has taken a different position on this issue over the past decade, with the Obama DOJ issuing a statement in 2012 that the Wire Act only applies to sports betting (of course, online casinos didn’t exist in 1961, so how could it be otherwise) . ?). The Trump DOJ asserted that all online gambling that was not 100% within the borders of a single state was illegal under the law, and overturned the Obama-era decision in 2018. Barr-era lawsuits related to the matter.

It is evident that Wire Act has never been applied to online casino gambling

At least that’s what some members of the GOP say knew perfectly well that it didn’t apply to poker or online casinos can be deduced from this HR707 — 114th Congress (2015-2016) (introduced but never passed) wanted: “Ensure that the ban on submitting betting information applies to any bet or bet or information that assists in the placing of bets or wagers, making this ban applicable to all types of gambling activities, including internet gambling“.

IGT sued the US Department of Justice over the ambiguous statute in late 2021, and almost a year later the company prevailed when the US District Court in Rhode Island upheld the US Department of Justice’s earlier (Obama-era) opinion that the Wire Act of 1961 only applies to sports betting – not to online poker or online casino games, which makes the issue moot and is considered a fixed law.

readers can learn more about the law of its beginnings as sponsored by US AG Robert Kennedy, a history of the DOJ Opinions, and the final conclusion by the court at JD Supra Here.

The AGA will also often conflate offshore operators with the currently unregulated or under-regulated providers of skill games found at rest stops, corner restaurants, grocery stores and other neighborhood eateries across the American countryside. It’s misdirected and just has actually no basis in many cases.

Take Pennsylvania’s Pace-O-Matic, for example. Courts have always ruled in favor of the company The slot-like games were in fact legal games of skill and no pure gambling. It is impossible to get paid out unless the player guesses where the payline is and activates the payout by just picking the winning symbols.

While the courts have ruled for the company, it hasn’t stopped some overzealous prosecutors from seizing the machines and peripherals, as well as the cash that’s inside the machines if they are illegally confiscated (according to a recent judge’s decision).

Skill games don’t cannibalize stick and brick revenue

One of the arguments of the American gambling industry and its protector project is that these games of skill somehow cannibalize the revenues of the “legal” operators. But this is a Ridiculous claim at first glance based on AGA’s own figures. 2022 was a record-breaking year for US commercial gaming operators, which generated more than $60 billion in cash transport last year. This record-breaking sales broke the previous record of $53 billion set in 2021.

The same report noted this More than one in three Americans who are old enough to gamble went to a casino at least once in the last year84m from us.

According to Article at G3 Newswirea spokesperson for Pace-O-Matic, Mike Barley, said: “If you’re constantly hitting the jackpot in earnings, you can’t simultaneously complain that games of skill are a threat to your casino business. That will not do. The numbers are the numbers.

Whether or not a causal effect can be found or direct lines drawn from one to the other, he claims that increasing the number of skill games available in a given market also increases casino winnings.

Skill games are 100% legal in some states

View of Pennsylvaniawhere Pace-O-Matic’s legal games can be found almost everywhere in the Commonwealth, gaming revenue, mainly from in-person casino slot play, rose 18% in January from the same period last year, and operators generated revenue in Totaling $475 million in December.

Barley points out that it really is no overlap for players playing slots vs skill games because each type of player is looking for a completely different experience. People who play skill games go to their own communities for some entertainment, whether it’s driving across town to a fire station, fraternity club, or veteran post, or just across the street or down the block to a restaurant, gas station, or other go small grocery store.

“It’s just not like a couple going to a casino will stop at an Elks Club to play games of skill instead,” he said. “Attempting to say that the two experiences are the same for players is ridiculous. We don’t have flashing lights and wall-to-wall games. For us, it’s maybe five games in a corner of a neighborhood restaurant.”

The G3 Newswire article concludes by suggesting that instead of pointing the finger at the perfectly legal skill gamesOrganizations like AGA could consider working with Pace-O-Matic to drive rogue operators and illegal machines out of the market.

Pace-O-Matic wants more regulation of skill games and state taxation, which would make state governments stakeholders in the small but important sector.

Source: Record earnings from US casinos prove that legal games of skill are not financially competitiveG3 Newswire, February 3, 2023 Casino earnings continue to break records, even with mom and pop games of skill in the mix

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