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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: June 25, 2015 09:57 AM
From: Representative Susan C. Helm
To: All House members
Subject: Amending Title 4 to Regulate Skill Slot machines and Hybrid Slot Machines
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that will amend Title 4 (Amusements) to provide the PGCB with the authority to regulate skill slot machines, hybrid slot machines and games of skill within the Commonwealth’s casinos.

Currently, Title 4 permits the operation of a slot machine to be based on skill, chance or a combination of both. However, Title 4 also requires slot machines to have a theoretical payout percentage of 85%. This provision limits the ability of a purely skill slot machine or slot machine that provides winnings based on skill and chance (hybrid) from being developed and used within the Commonwealth. When skill is factored into a slot machine, it is difficult to require a minimum payout because winnings will be based on the skill of the player rather than software that awards winnings based on chance.

My legislation would specifically define skill slot machines and hybrid machines and exempt these machines from the 85% payout requirement. Although these machines would be exempted from the theoretical minimum payout, my legislation provides the PGCB with broad authority to regulate these machines, including the ability to require a minimum payout based on the skill of the players. Additionally, these machines would be taxed at the same rate as slot machines.

Finally, my legislation would permit casinos to offer non-electronic games of skill, similar to what New Jersey casinos are offering to their patrons. For example, a casino in New Jersey recently held a basketball hoops shooting tournament. My legislation would permit PA casinos to offer similar contests within their facilities, as long as the game of skill is approved by the PGCB. Revenue generated from games of skill would be taxed at 14% and be deposited in the General Fund.

I hope you will consider joining me in cosponsoring this legislation that will both increase the competitiveness of PA casinos and provide new entertainment options for the Commonwealth’s casino patrons.

Thank you.

Introduced as HB1423