Tom Marino

Tom Marino, Pace-O-Matic’s Pennsylvania Skill Vice President of Government Affairs/Public Relations and Counsel, speaks during a press conference Wednesday, July 10, 2019, outside 3C Amusements’ premises in Lower Yoder Township. Marino announced during the press conference that Pace-O-Matic has filed a nuisance lawsuit against 3C Amusements.

A civil case brought by Pace-O-Matic against locally owned 3C Amusements, concerning the legal status of video gambling machines, has been dismissed – without prejudice – by the Cambria County Court of Common Pleas.

The ruling is pending the determination in a separate Commonwealth Court case brought by POM against the Pennsylvania State Police, Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement.

In July, Pace-O-Matic’s Pennsylvania Skill Vice President of Government Affairs/Public Relations and Counsel Tom Marino, a former United States congressman, held a press conference outside of 3C’s Lower Yoder Township site, arguing that POM’s machines are legal games of skill. Marino contended 3C’s machines were illegal because they involved no skill, just pushing a button and leaving matters up to chance.

He said the difference was defined by a Beaver County Court of Common Pleas ruling.

The PLCB sent a notification to liquor licensees that “skill games are illegal in the commonwealth” and that possession could result in citations. 

An attorney for Pennsylvania Skill and Pace-O-Matic called the PLCB’s email “false, defamatory” in a letter sent to owners of POM machines. A court case is pending.

“The claim against me from Pace is the same claim that Pace is making against the PLCB,” 3C Amusements owner Steve Csehoski said. “You can’t have it both ways. So that’s why it was dismissed without prejudice. In fact, with the PLCB, if it would be ruled in their favor that they can make a determination if they want to say that something’s illegal, it’s illegal, then technically Pace could have a case again against me. 

“However, the PLCB is not like the judiciary branch. Pace-O-Matic’s probably going to win that case. But, at the same time, then winning that, kills any case against me.”

Cambria County Judge David Tulowitzki issued his decision after briefs were submitted, but counsel for the plaintiff did not appear for an argument.

“This case is not over as it is stayed pending an opinion on a related Commonwealth Court opinion in a similar case,” Mike Barley, spokesman for Pennsylvania Skill, said. “We plan to continue pursuing this matter.”

Csehoski, who owns 3C sites in Lower Yoder, Richland and Vinco, is considering a defamation suit against Pace-O-Matic. 

Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5056. Follow him on Twitter @Dave_Sutor.

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