November 30, 2023 10:02 am

In Virginia, the Supreme Court has reinstated a state-wide ban on skill games. The Attorney General of the state, Jason Miyares, recommended that no enforcement of the ban begin until November 15th, leaving discretion to the Commonwealth’s Attorneys.

For Finnigan’s Cove in Harrisonburg, skill games were something they introduced during the pandemic when business was slow. Owner Donna Finnigan explained that while it was helpful during tough times, it is now impacting her income. “It’s a difference in income that’s for sure,” she said. “We only have two games but it’s still a huge difference in income and I’ve noticed some of the people that came in to play and bought food and drinks, we haven’t seen them.”

Finnigan understands why the ban was put in place but wishes there was more support for small businesses. “It definitely needs to be regulated,” she said. “Plus per square footage, they ought to tell you you can only have so many instead of having little mini casinos everywhere.”

While Finnigan’s Cove also has other gaming machines like Golden Tee and Big Buck Hunter, they don’t bring in as many customers as skill games do. “I just think if they’re saying they want to help small business, that’s what they should do,” Finnigan said. “I mean you cant have people from the lottery coming in and saying ‘oh you can put our machines in’ well that’s gambling too, make a decision, you want it in an establishment or you don’t.”

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