Judge Rules D.A. Overstepped in Pace-O-Matic Gaming Machines Case

Derek Blake pic
Derek Blake
Casino News


  • Judge rules Monroe County D.A. failed to establish that skill gaming machines were illegal
  • Ruling returns $36,000 and 13 skill gaming machines to two stores in Stroudsburg
  • Judge wrote in ruling, D.A. “improperly withheld and misrepresented material evidence”

A skill gaming machine case, followed closely by gambling PA companies, ended on Monday as the presiding judge ruled in favor of Pace-O-Matic, a Pennsylvania gaming company over a Monroe County D.A. who seized cash and machines from two gas stations.

Monroe County Common Pleas Judge Jennifer Harlacher Sibum wrote in the court order returning the machines, “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.”

The ruling ended a case between Pace-O-Matic and the Attorney General of Monroe County District Attorney, E. David Christine Jr., that began in October 2021 with the seizure of 13 skill gaming machines and over $36,000 for two local gas stations. Christine Jr. authorized the raid of Fill and Fly gas station and Smokin’ Joes Tobacco Shop in Shroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

Both stores filed a joint lawsuit against D.A Christine Jr. in the wake of the seizures asking for a return of the money and machines seized in the raid.

Pace-O-Matic Celebrates Ruling, Re-establishes Market Share in Pennsylvania

By winning the lawsuit, Pace-O-Matic retains the right to continue offering their machines to businesses throughout Pennsylvania. Judge Sibum’s ruling also provides pushback to any future seizures or raids by law enforcement, further entrenching Pace-O-Matic’s place in the Pennsylvania gaming market.

“This ruling reaffirms our status as legal games of skill,” said Pace-O-Matic spokesperson Mike Barley. “The prosecutor’s behavior, 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, and veterans groups that benefit from skill game revenue.”

Manufactured in Williamsport, Pace-O-Matic claims the construction of their machines have created 200 jobs in the state, doesn’t affect the bottom line of PA casinos, and provided revenue to small businesses throughout Pennsylvania.

Derek Blake is a freelance writer that has covered the expansion of legal sports betting in America and the regional casino business for several well-known industry websites. During his writing career, he has written profiles on dozens of athletes and focused on the collision of sports and politics.