Industry Reports

Ontario Superior Court Rules GotSkill Game Equals Gambling, Bars Should Remove It

Casino venues are not the only location where people could feel the thrill of gaming and have a genuinely good time. Bars across Ontario have also striven to offer an experience that combines the thrill of winning cash with a pleasant time with friends.

Ontario’s Superior Court recently ruled that the popular GotSkill games are in fact a type of gambling and would therefore no longer be permitted outside casino venues. Pubs and bars are willing to go above and beyond in their search of new offerings that could attract more customers.

The longer a person remains on site, the more cash they are going to spend on drinks and food. Another factor that could keep them on the premises of the given bar for longer is the addition of playing devices that rely on the element of skill. At least this was the case up until this week when the Ontario Supreme Court decided to change the game.

GotSkill Is Gambling

Up until now, some 200 pubs and other facilities with licensing issued by the province have offered the popular GotSkill games. Ever since 2017, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has been after the said games claiming that the slot machines are games of chance and should not be allowed outside casino venues.

According to Play For Fun Studios Inc. the gaming machines involve the element of skill and this is the only thing determining the ultimate payout. May 31, 2018, saw the official hearing on the subject and this is when the aforementioned position was expressed.

Fast forwards several months later, in September the court ruled the games are skill-based and should continue their operation across Ontario’s bars. An appeal was in order, as the commission claimed that the slot devices operate in high traffic places in direct breach of the Criminal Code.

Ontario’s Superior Court took its time to review the case and evaluate every detail, eventually concluding that the games, in fact, involve the element of both chance and skill, making them gambling machines.

Previous Ruling Was Quashed

The resent ruling made it clear that the game offers a fusion of chance and skill, making it a gambling offering that has no place in bars and restaurants. According to the regulations overseeing the liquor-licensed locations, gambling has no business being there.

Back in September 2018, Superior Court Justice Andras Schreck stated that the dexterity of a player is essential for the eventual outcome of the game and the payout. The skills showcased during the GotSkill session are eventually able to determine the outcome. However, now the Appeal Court cited his ruling and highlighted its shortcomings.

In the recently issued ruling, the top court points out that Justice Schreck’s ruling fails to take into account real-life circumstances in which the game is being played on a regular basis. For the time being, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has not issued a statement on what’s next, but last year it stated that the devices would have to be removed from bars if they are classified as a game of chance.