Skill games ban enforcement takes hold in Virginia

November 29, 2023

However, some legislators have petitioned the Governor to hold off.

Virginia Beach business owners have pulled the plug on skills games in compliance with a newly initiated ban, according to a local report in The Virginian-Pilot.

The city of Virginia Beach began enforcing Virginia’s statewide ban on skill games as of November 26.

The state passed a law banning skill game kiosks during 2020. 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.

To end the two-year legal dispute, the Virginia Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of banning games of skill.

Several state lawmakers asked Governor Glenn Youngkin to delay enforcing the ban because of the impact it could have on small business owners, according to the local report. Eleven senators and delegates sent a letter earlier this month, detailing their reasons why the ban should not be enforced at this time.

The letter reads, “Small businesses in our communities are reeling and fearful that they may be forced to lay off employees or even close their doors for good without the income and stability these games provide.

“We collectively request that your administration and the departments it oversees delay enforcement of the skill games currently in operation until the (legislature) can convene in 2024 to develop clarity.”

Though skill games are now banned 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. Caesars Virginia is the third casino to take up residence within Virginia’s borders.


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