This month, the Supreme Court of Virginia reinstated a state-wide ban on skill games. However, Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares recommended no enforcement of the ban begin until Nov 15, with discretion left up to the Commonwealth’s Attorneys.
Finnigan’s Cove in Harrisonburg was one of the businesses that brought in skill games during the pandemic when business was slow. Owner Donna Finnigan said that while it is helpful to have extra income, she understands why there is a need for regulation. “It definitely needs to be regulated,” she said. “I think that’s a problem and that’s probably why we’re where we’re at.”
At Finnigan’s Cove, gamers must be paying customers who purchase food or drinks before playing skill games. The games draw them in and keep them there for longer periods. With the ban in place, Finnigan has already noticed a difference in customers. She said: “It’s a difference in income that’s for sure, 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 also mentioned that she wishes there was more support for small businesses like hers. She said: “Plus per square footage, they ought to tell you you can only have so many instead of having little mini casinos everywhere.” Despite this setback, Finnigan is determined to continue operating her business as best as possible and hopes for better days ahead.