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Illegal ‘Skill’ Games Cost Older Pennsylvanians $650 Million

Contact: Peter Shelly, 717-645-3934;

HARRISBURG – (August 11, 2022) – A new analysis by the Pennsylvania Lottery shows that so-called skill games, which the Pennsylvania State Police, Office of Attorney General and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board maintain are illegal gaming devices, have led to an estimated loss of $650 million in Pennsylvania Lottery scratch sales.

The report, which is an update to previous Lottery analyses of the impact of skill games, states that:

“In the following report, we show detailed analyses that estimate more than $650 million in Pennsylvania Lottery scratch sales have been lost to unregulated Games of Skill machines across the Commonwealth. To put it another way, the $14.9 billion in scratch product sold between October 2017 and March 2022 could have been more than 4.4% higher, which would in turn have generated over $200 million more for older Pennsylvanians and local businesses during that time.”

The Lottery analysis also found that, “Since 2017, the Pennsylvania Lottery retail network has seen:

· 17 times more Skill machines found on-site across the state;

· Eight times the number of retailers with at least one Skill machine;

· Six times the maximum number of Skill machines found at any one retailer; and

· The spread of Skill machines to every county in the Commonwealth.”

“This analysis should serve as a flashing red light for lawmakers. It is time, once and for all, to tighten state law and shut these machines down,” said Pete Shelly, spokesman for Pennsylvanians Against Gaming Expansion.

Shelly urged lawmakers to consider this report and these impacts as they debate proposals to expand gaming, specifically legislation sponsored by state Sen. Gene Yaw and state Rep. Jeff Wheeland that would regulate skill games, which leading law enforcement agencies have said repeatedly are illegal.

“These machines do not generate a penny in gaming taxes. They also are bringing crime to communities across the state, and they drain revenue from programs for seniors that the Pennsylvania Lottery funds,” Shelly said.

Read the full report below.

Pennsylvania Skill Machines and Lottery Revenue- Impact Analysis Methodology and Results -
Download • 1.77MB


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