‘This is about survival of small mom and pop businesses’: Skill games ban temporarily lifted in Virginia

Local News

FINCASTLE, Va. (WFXR) — In a time where many small businesses have struggled during a global pandemic, some can now take a sigh of relief, at least for a little while as skill games are headed back to local convenience stores after a circuit court judge in Greensville County temporarily lifted that ban.

Dharmendra Patel, the owner of of Happy Food Mart in Fincastle, says this is great for his business.

“This is about survival of small mom and pop businesses,” said Patel. “Hopefully they will be able to reverse the decision or law permanently.”

Patel has owned his store for more than seven years. He knows the benefits that the skill games bring to his store.

“Those were like blessings for convenient stores you know,” said Patel.

One of those blessings was providing a little extra safety for the stores. The extra foot traffic helped eliminate any potential crime.

“If anybody wants to come in with bad intentions to steal or rob or something like that, they see more people and try to stay away from those kind of stores,” said Patel.

Overall, Patel thinks the ban discriminated against minority business owners citing race as an issue.

“Most of the convenient stores, especially this area, are owned by minority owners. Asian American, Middle-eastern type of ethnicity,” said Patel.

Some lawmakers feared the skill games were taking away business from the Virginia Lottery and the emerging casino industry.

A lot of money is on the line and one game distributor says the games generated $130 million in tax revenue for the Commonwealth.

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