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November 28, 2022 Casino, Legal, Land Based

Virginia budget amendment pushes back skill-game lawsuit

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Skill machines have been banned in the state since the summer of 2021.

A new budget amendment in Virginia has resulted in the delay of a skill-game lawsuit. In the summer of 2021, skill machines were officially banned in the state.

The decision to ban these machines is proving to be more difficult for the government to execute due to strong opposition from the industry and its small-business allies. 

State experts have argued that the games are either so trivial that they don't require much skill or so advanced that it makes it nearly impossible for players to consistently win on skill alone. 

Consultant Mark Nicely commented: "If players could readily beat the game in this manner, then one should expect that they would be doing so regularly.

"However, the fact that these machines are reported to generate tremendous profits for their operators speaks to their inability to be beaten by human achievable skill."

Some believe the law banning skill games could be applied to any real-world and online game. 

Whittier College Professor I. Nelson Rose added: "The reach of the new law is enormous. Virtually every game, both in the real world and online, would be outlawed."

The case was originally supposed to be heard in May 2022, but it was pushed back to early November. Now, with the trial date in November being pushed back, the next trial is set for December 5. 

The skill-game industry tried to include the arcade/restaurant chain Dave & Buster's in the litigation, filing a subpoena for a detailed account of how the ticket-based prize system works. 

Attorneys for Dave & Buster's added: "Dave & Buster’s does not host or allow gambling in its locations. It seems apparent from the face of the subpoena that Plaintiffs do not know what they are looking for but are ‘fishing’ for some as yet unknown information that they think Dave & Buster’s may or may not possess."

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