Virginia Supreme Court rules to reinstate skill games ban, local business reacts

October 26, 2023
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The court decision ended a nearly two-year legal battle.

Virginia business owners say they are not giving up hope to see legal skill games within the state, according to an NBC 10 local news report. The Virginia Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of banning games of skill.

This is not the first time that skill games have been prohibited in Virginia. The state passed a law in 2020 banning skill game kiosks. However, the restriction was lifted at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic to provide “desperately needed revenue for small businesses.”

Following the 2020 ban, the gaming industry pushed back to appeal the matter in court. Both groups reached a legal standstill in December 2021. Up until the recent ruling, no formal decision had been made on the case.

Wolf’s Den Billiards, a Southwest Virginia local business, told NBC 10 News that skills games have made the destination what it is today.

However, not everyone agrees. The Attorney General’s Office recently released a statement to local news, stating that the office supports the Virginia Supreme Court’s latest decision.

Director of Communications Victoria LaCivita said in the statement, “We are very pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the constitutionality of the skill games law.

“The Commonwealth of Virginia has regulated gambling for centuries, and the skill games law is an ordinary exercise of the General Assembly’s authority to protect the public from dangerous gambling devices.”

Though skill games are out in Viriginia, the state’s Lottery Board recently gave Danville’s Caesars Virginia casino an operating license for its temporary casino location, which opened this spring.

Caesars said it expects its permanent casino to open in 2024.

The state of Virginia first welcomed casino gambling in 2020, after a lengthy legal process. Since opening the state to casino gambling, Caesars Virginia is the third casino to take up residence within Virginia’s borders.

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