Pennsylvania Casinos Said No to ‘Slot-Style’ iLottery Games

Pennsylvania’s casinos are filing a petition in the Commonwealth Court to stop the use of the online state iLottery games, which are closely resembling to the casinos games.

Seven casinos are asking to interdict urgently the online lottery (PA iLottery), claiming that the online lottery games violate the 2017 law. To spell out the contest of this legislation, it allows both state casinos and lotteries to provide certified gambling services (casino gaming and poker).

Authorized by this law, PA iLottery became popular, offering interactive games online, while at the same time creating disadvantages for online casinos.

Because of bureaucracy and complicated procedures, the state’s casinos are still waiting to take their games online, while the lottery has already the opportunity to spread its new games and to benefit from them.

In this manner, the online Lottery is going to generate $1.2 billion in 2018-2019, using the income for supporting state aging programs.

Slot or No Slot: that is the question

As mentioned earlier, seven casinos submitted a complaint to the court referring to the lottery games and the resemblance they have to slots. They put forward their claim relying on the Pennsylvania’s new gambling laws interdicted the lottery to offer games that mimic casino-style lottery games, specifically poker, roulette, slot machines or blackjack.

In this light the Lottery maintains in self-defense that the games are seemingly slots, but have nothing to do with online games and are deemed to be scratch-cards.

As Pennsylvania’s online casino gaming market is to be launched in a couple of weeks, the casinos insist the court to immediately remove the slot-like iLottery game before the new market is set in motion.

There are at least 22 iLottery games registered according the casino gaming standards in other jurisdictions, including the UK and New Jersey.

Important to mention is that Pennsylvania’s Department of Revenue, which monitors the lottery, requested its software provider not to vend the same games to traditional casinos – a practice permitted by the lawsuit only if the games would be sold as casino games.

Lottery Condemns Skill Games

Early this month a Lottery spokespersons convoked a press conference in Harrisburg making a public statement on the problems caused by the games of skills.

These electronic machines are located in different public areas across the state, like bars and stores, where people can have fun, drink and eat. The lottery condemns the skill-based games because they offer almost identical activities as the lottery offers, classifying them as “a direct competitor with the lottery.”

Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko considers the unregulated gambling games affect negatively the lottery’s annual revenue. He says, “The games of skill machines are appearing across the state and we are deeply concerned the harm will only increase.”

Svitko thinks they could reach $138 million in scratch-card sales per year if people weren’t playing the skill-based games. And he believes it’s imperative to take action “to protect the funding that supports the programs that older Pennsylvanians rely upon each year.”

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