Skill-Based Games Get Banned In Virginia

Andy Brown
Published: Jul 8, 2021 Updated: Sep 17, 2021

The state of Virginia has declared skill-based games to be illegal outside of the retail casinos. But the fight to get these games back is not over. To help the now-forbidden slots to return to their usual spots such as gas stations, stores, and bars, the AABOA [Asian American Business Owners Association] has filed a discrimination complaint with Attorney General Mark R. Herring against the Virginia General Assembly. The complaints carry comments made by two senators in 2020 when the assembly passed the ban on skill-based games. 

The Presence Of Skill Games Suppliers In Virginia Market

WSOPThe leading supplier of the skill-based games QVS [Queens of Virginia Skill and Entertainment] reported that they were pulling out all their machines from Virginia. The Pace-O-Matic software powers QVS, and the software company’s public relations Vice President, Michael Barley, also shared his thoughts. He said that all their games are turned off and getting removed from the Virginia market as well. Barley also said that Pace-O-Matic and QVS would follow all the appropriate regulations and laws. 

The Pace-O-Matic software incorporates certain skill elements into games to bypass the statutory definition of gambling, including bets in the game of chance. But they do not come up with the same kind of customer and oversight protection compared to legal gambling. In their goodbye letter to all the Virginians, the company posted on their QVS home page that their machines have donated around $130 million to Virginia during the fiscal year, which ended back on June 30th.

Complaints That Can Save These Games

online pokerSoon after the AABOA made a complaint to keep the skill-based games in Virginia, another complaint came in last month. The protest was made by Hermie Sadler, who is a former NASCAR driver who has called the ban pretty unconstitutional. Sadler, who owns restaurants, convenience stores, and truck shops with his brother, aims for an injunction. He is suing Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Authority, Herring, and Northam at the Greensville County Circuit Court. 

Under a 3rd legal action, many independent business owners tried to obtain an order to prevent the state from stopping all the machines. Their complaint was filed against the Commonwealth on June 22nd at the Norfolk Circuit Court, but it got rejected on July 2nd.  

On the other hand, plaintiffs, such as Boyd Melchor, Himansu Patel, Takis Karangelen, Melody Weekly, Tommy Posilero, and Judith Hendricks, stated that the general assembly members made racially demeaning and inconsiderate remarks. But the court, on the other hand, discovered that the word “person,” which is included within the Virginia Human Rights Act, does not refer to government entities, such as the Commonwealth. 

What’s Next

After the court’s decision on June 2nd, former Norfolk Councilman Randy Wright said that there would be more to come in the upcoming November elections. He also said there would be no chance of giving up and he will fight for the rights of the Asian Americans and provide them protection from defamatory statements.  

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Andy is a skilled recreational gambler for more than 11 years. His primary focus is on the regulated US online casino and poker markets. Editor-In-Chief at
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