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Casinos sue Pa. Department of Revenue over online lottery games that mimic slot machines

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania casinos asked a court Wednesday to shut down the state’s new iLottery program, arguing the internet-based games simulate slot machines and casino-style gambling in violation of state law. The complaint against the Revenue Department, which includes the Pennsylvania Lottery, said the iLottery games mimic slot machines found in casinos and online. “All of the iLottery games feature the same user interface as a slot machine, and have the same interactive appearance, feel and play experience that a player would expect from land-based and online slot machines,” they wrote in a complaint filed in Commonwealth Court. “These features include graphics, animation, suspenseful music, flashing lights, bells or sounds played when combinations are hit, and similar visual and auditory features.” The owners of seven casinos, including Penn National Gaming Inc. and Caesars Entertainment Corp., said the state Gaming Act limits casino games to those who hold a slot machine license and table games certificate. The casinos argue the iLottery program “is a direct incursion by the state into the exclusive market of the licensed gaming operators.” A Pennsylvania Lottery spokesman said officials had not reviewed the lawsuit. Get a daily summary of the news every morning * I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy. “It is important to note that Act 42 authorized the lottery’s new games, which are part of an effort to continue delivering to our customers games that they want and where they want while generating the additional funds to stabilize the Lottery Fund and provide vital services to older Pennsylvanians,” lottery spokesman Gary Miller said. The casinos said the iLottery games allow players who are 18 years old, but casinos can’t let anyone gamble under age 21. They say they have spent vast sums on licenses and facilities.

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'Table' your slot play for a better gaming experience

The actual mathematical advantage that the casinos enjoy at the table games is much lower than the revenues they generate. Reckless and uneducated play contributes to this fact. For example, many people who sit down at a blackjack table really don't know how to play the game correctly. Many people who play craps spend inordinate amounts of money on the bets that pack that highest house edge. Learning to play the table games, and, more importantly, learning to play them skillfully and correctly, can help arm you against the relentless grind of the slot machines and the marketing war the manufacturers and the casinos wage against players. Playing the tables is completely different than playing the slots.

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