In recent news, the Supreme Court of Virginia has reinstated a state-wide ban on skill games. Although Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares recommended no enforcement of the ban until November 15th, discretion remains with the Commonwealth’s Attorneys.
Finnigan’s Cove in Harrisonburg has seen a difference in customers since the ban was put in place. Donna Finnigan, owner of Finnigan’s Cove, said that gamers must be paying customers and purchase food or drinks to play the skill games. “It draws them in, they come in to play and they do eat and drink and they stay for a while,” she said. The income generated from these games is significant for small businesses like Finnigan’s Cove. Even though they have other gaming machines like Golden Tee and Big Buck Hunter, it’s not as profitable as skill games.
Finnigan understands why there is a need for regulation 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.” Finnigan believes that if the lottery wants to help small business owners by putting their machines in establishments, then gambling should be legalized entirely or regulated differently.