Virginia skill game ban takes effect on Wednesday

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After a long road that included a pandemic and a court battle, the ban on skill games in Virginia is set to go into effect on Nov. 15.

Last month, the state Supreme Court overturned a lower court injunction on the ban. The injunction was set to last the duration of the court case challenging the state’s skill game ban. State Attorney General Jason Miyares issued an opinion to state prosecutors to delay enforcing the ban in order for those with the machines to remove them from the premises.

On Monday, lower court Judge Louis Lerner granted the state’s request for summary judgment and dismissed the case in light of the Supreme Court’s decision.

“The Supreme Court has ruled to the satisfaction of the court, and to proceed to a trial would be inappropriate,” Lerner said during his ruling.

With that, the ban is set to go into effect today. However, local lawmakers at the city and county level may wait until 2024 to enforce the ban.

In the meantime, proponents of skill games like former NASCAR driver Hermie Sadler will need to turn to the legislature to continue their lobbying efforts.

It was the General Assembly though that passed a ban on skill games in the first place. The legislature did so in 2020, but Gov. Ralph Northam delayed the ban in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Virginia joins a growing list of states including Kentucky that have explicitly banned the machines in recent years.