March 29, 2023 3 min read


Pace-O-Matic to Fight against “Unconstitutional Ban” of Skill Games in Kentucky

Pace-O-Matic hopes that the court will introduce an injunction that prevents House Bill 594 from banning skill games in the state

The battle between pro-skill games and anti-skill games groups in Kentucky continues. Pace-O-Matic, a Georgia-based developer of such products, teamed up with other industry bodies to file a lawsuit over House Bill 594, which would see vertical banned.

Skill games are a type of electronic terminals that offer real-money gaming. Despite their inherent similarities to slots, these machines have a skill element to them (thus the name), requiring players to react quickly and make the right decisions.

While many argue that skill games should not be put in the same category as slots, others believe that the concept is too similar and that skill games should be regulated like all other gambling terminals.

Currently, skill machines are somewhat of a gray area. Still, some want to ban them, as attested by House Bill 594. Introduced earlier this month, the measure would see skill games banned. Opponents of the vertical say that the proliferation of these machines, paired with their unregulated nature, is sure to lead to crime.

Unfortunately for the skill game industry, House Bill 594 was written into law. It will come into power 90 days from the conclusion of the General Assembly session, at which point venues offering skill games will face fines of up to $25,000 per device.

Despite the efforts to ban the machines, the skill game industry will not go down without a fight.

Pace-O-Matic Takes Matters to Court

Pace-O-Matic and several local venues that offer skill games joined forces in a lawsuit against the measure, which they believe is “unconstitutional.” Filed in Franklin Circuit Court yesterday, the lawsuit will see the provider and proponents of the vertical defend the legality of skill games in court.

Michael Barley, chief public affairs officer at Pace-O-Matic said that the industry is prepared to fight back against the unconstitutional ban. He argued that many local businesses rely on such games for income. Barley slammed the opponents of skill gaming, saying that they serve the horse racing industry’s interests and seek to monopolize entertainment in Kentucky.

Plaintiffs will try to block the measures outlined in House Bill 594, at least while the case is being heard.

Kentucky attorney general Daniel Cameron will serve as the defendant in this lawsuit and will try to ensure that the ban on skill games is not impeded. Skill games have been a controversial topic in several states for similar reasons as the ones listed above. However, banning the vertical has proven to be surprisingly hard.

Virginia, for example, introduced a law that bans skill-based machines. That law, however, was quickly squandered by an injunction issued by a local judge. Opponents of the machines could not get them banned in Pennsylvania either.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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