Ban on skill games temporarily lifted amid former NASCAR driver’s lawsuit against Virginia

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — The enforcement of a ban on skill games is currently on hold, allowing many Virginians to once again “go and press their luck.” This could also mean millions of dollars in revenue for small businesses.

On July 1, a law was set to go into effect in the Commonwealth banning electronic betting machines, which have become popular in gas stations, bars, and other locations around Virginia.

However, on Monday, Dec. 6, a circuit court judge in Greensville County temporarily lifted that ban.

This news comes after business owner and former NASCAR driver, Hermie Sadler, and his attorney, state Sen. Bill Stanley, filed a lawsuit in Greensville County Circuit Court earlier this year against Gov. Ralph Northam, Attorney General Mark Herring, and Virginia ABC over the skill games ban, citing the Commonwealth’s involvement in legalizing and establishing casino gaming in Virginia.

Sadler and his legal team called the law establishing the ban unconstitutional and a major government overreach.

However, Monday’s temporary injunction means that, for the time being, businesses can operate the machines and customers can try their luck on the games.

In Blacksburg, Snuffy’s General Store began plugging in the old games and even showcased some of the newer ones on Monday.

The store’s owner, Sam Shah, declined an interview. However, he did tell WFXR News’ Kelsey Jean-Baptiste he is happy to have the machines back for their profits.

Before the ban on these electronic betting machines, Shah says it cost a small fortune to house the store’s seven skill games.

According to the Virginia ABC website, each owner is taxed $1,200 to hold a skill game.

In a monthly report, skill game distributors say they saw $136,376,556 in prize winnings.

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