Last 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 skill games begin until November 15, with discretion left up to the Commonwealth’s Attorneys.
For Finnigan’s Cove in Harrisonburg, the skill games were something they brought in during the pandemic when business was slow. “It’s still helpful you know the economy is bad, the food is high it’s just still very helpful,” Donna Finnigan, owner of Finnigan’s Cove said.
At Finnigan’s Cove, 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,” Finnigan said. With the ban in place, Finnigan said she’s already seeing a difference in customers.
“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 said she understands why they put the ban in place but wishes there was more support for small businesses like hers. “It definitely needs to be regulated,” she said. “I think that’s a problem and that’s probably why we’re where we are.” She also believes that per square footage limits should be put on mini casinos instead of having them scattered across every corner of town.