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Compliance Updates

Pace-O-Matic Secures Another Legal Victory in Pennsylvania

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Pace-O-Matic announced the company won a return of property motion in Dauphin County. This property – gaming machines, related equipment, and cash – was wrongfully seized during raids conducted by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Liquor Control and Enforcement (BLCE) in 2019.

“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,” said Pace-O-Matic spokesman Mike Barley.

The ruling also castigates the Commonwealth and BLCE for their biased conduct in the matter.

Dauphin County Common Pleas Judge Andrew H. Dowling wrote: “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. The Commonwealth is seeking to make all machines like the POM Machines into illegal gambling devices, and their whole approach and intent is to shut down games regardless of the actual gameplay. The fact that Officer Wentsler never played the Follow Me feature while undercover is indicative of this. Thus, the Commonwealth as a whole is biased against the games, and their approach lacks case credibility.”

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This is the second court in as many months to rule the games were legal games of skill and allege misconduct in the investigation and prosecution of legal skill games.

Last month, Monroe County Common Pleas Judge Jennifer Harlacher Sibum wrote: “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.”

Barley said: “We applaud the most recent court’s decision, especially for highlighting the extreme level of bias shown by the Commonwealth against a legal product. The behavior of the BLCE agents and prosecutors, in this case, has been egregious, and we are deeply concerned about the motivation to disregard, bend and violate the law and our constitutional rights in a coordinated effort to harm our company and the small businesses, clubs, fire halls and veterans groups that benefit from skill game revenue and support.

“Every time the legality of our skill games has been called into question, the legal status of our games has been upheld by the judiciary. Pace-O-Matic stands out among our competitors as the active driving force seeking additional regulation and taxation. We remain steadfast in our commitment to working with the state General Assembly and asking for legislation providing additional regulation and increased tax money for the state.”

Pennsylvania Skill has pumped new life into the commonwealth’s small businesses, fraternal and social clubs, and veterans’ organizations by providing them with an entertainment product that the public enjoys. Meanwhile, research data proves skill games do not impact the revenue of casinos and the lottery, both of which are achieving record profits year after year.

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Pennsylvania Skill games are manufactured in the commonwealth, and over 90% of the profits stay inside the state. That is unheard of in gaming and many other industries.

Pace-O-Matic’s Pennsylvania Skill products are manufactured by Miele Manufacturing in Williamsport, which has created nearly 200 direct jobs. Many of the materials used to make up the gaming machines come from companies in the Commonwealth. Additionally, Pennsylvania Skill game revenue has become a lifeline to fraternal clubs and organizations across the commonwealth, including American Legions, VFWs, and local fire companies.

As part of ongoing efforts to ensure compliance, Pace-O-Matic employs a team of former state police officers to enforce all terms of contracts and codes of conduct. These contracted terms limit the number of machines, where they are placed in a location and have protections in place to prevent anyone underage from playing the devices.

In 2014, the Beaver County Court of Common Pleas ruled that Pace-O-Matic’s Pennsylvania Skill games are legal as games of predominant skill.

In addition, last year, the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General and the Clearfield County District Attorney’s office negotiated a settlement to return wrongfully seized Pennsylvania Skill games, related equipment, and cash.

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Compliance Updates

SYNOT Games Enters Peruvian Market

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SYNOT has secured a B2B license from Mincetur – the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism – bolstering the supplier’s online casino position in Latin America.

“Peru presents a promising new market and we look forward to launching our popular titles, providing innovative gameplay and immersive entertainment. Our commitment to delivering high-quality gaming experiences will ensure that Peruvian players enjoy the best we have to offer,” Martina Krajci, CCO of SYNOT Games, said.

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Compliance Updates

PGCB Fines Casino $125,000 for Underage Gaming Violations

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The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has approved a consent agreement presented by the Board’s Office of Enforcement Counsel (OEC) during its public meeting resulting in a fine of $125,000 against Wind Creek Bethlehem LLC for 10 incidents in which underage individuals gained access to the gaming floor at the casino it operates.

The incidents, which occurred over a 20-month period at Wind Creek Bethlehem in Northampton County, involved 11 individuals between the ages of 18 and 20.

A copy of the approved consent agreement offering more details is available upon request through the Board’s Office of Communications.

The Board also acted to ban, or leave intact an earlier ban, of three adults from all casinos in the Commonwealth for leaving minors unattended in order to engage in gaming activities:

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  • A male and a female patron were placed on the Involuntary Exclusion List after leaving a 5-month-old unattended in a running vehicle while the outside temperature was 47 degrees in the parking garage of Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack in Delaware County for 30 minutes while he gambled at a table game.
  • A female patron’s request to be removed from the Board’s Involuntary Exclusion List for a 2017 incident in which she left a 4-year-old unattended while in Rivers Philadelphia Casino was denied. The child was unattended for 15 minutes in a non-running vehicle in the parking lot while the outside temperature was 95 degrees.

The Board’s actions serve as a reminder that adults are prohibited from leaving minors unattended in the parking lot or garage, a hotel, or other venues at a casino since it creates a potentially unsafe and dangerous environment for the children. Leaving minors unattended at a Pennsylvania casino also subjects the offending adult to criminal prosecution in addition to exclusion from all Pennsylvania casinos. To complement the efforts by casinos to mitigate this issue, the Board created an awareness campaign, “Don’t Gamble with Kids”.

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Canada

Swintt games approved for release in Ontario

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Swintt games approved for release in Ontario

 

In-demand software provider receives AGCO approval to operate in the regulated province, bringing full suite of games to Canadian players for the very first time

Swintt, the EGR award-winning software provider famed for its classically-themed Premium releases and state-of-the-art Select slots, has announced it has received permission to operate in Ontario, meaning its full suite of games will now available to AGCO-licensed platforms.

Having unveiled ambitious plans to expand into further regulated markets at the start of 2024, Swintt’s portfolio is now certified in eleven countries including Malta, Germany and the Netherlands, but this latest approval represents the company’s maiden entry into North America.

This means that not only will Ontarian players now be able to enjoy popular SwinttGames releases like the fan favourite slot Aloha Spirit XtraLockTM, but also newer upcoming games from Elysium Studios – Driven by Swintt.

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The product of Swintt’s acquisition of Elysium Studios earlier this year, the collaboration has resulted in a new line-up of releases being added to the software provider’s roster, with these games combing immersive themes and features with the very latest in slot design and graphics.

Tipsy Charms, the first game in the Elysium Studios – Driven by Swintt line-up, has already launched to great effect – and with the Mesopotamian-themed adventure, Law of Gilgamesh, scheduled for May 30th, there’s plenty for Ontarian players to look forward to in the coming weeks.

With all this and more on the horizon for the province in the second half of 2024, everyone at Swintt is excited about entering the regulated Canadian market for the first time and the company has high hopes that the approval will further underline its credentials as a leading global provider.

David Mann, Chief Executive Officer at Swintt, said: “Swintt is delighted to have received AGCO approval for its games in Ontario and we’re very excited to now have the chance to take this new and dynamic market by storm. Being certified to launch in Ontario is definitely a huge step for the company that will enable us to showcase our brand to new audiences on the global stage.”

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