Virginia Skill Games Lawsuit Pushed Back To December

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on November 29, 2022
Skill games lawsuit postponed to December

Before a Virginia gambling lawsuit surrounding the legality of skill games can get underway, a judge must first resolve whether the General Assembly can insert unrelated legislation into the state budget.

According to The Virginia Mercury, the two sides are battling over the General Assembly’s effort to pass budget language with a direct impact on the lawsuit.

Hermie Sadler, a Virginia truck stop owner brought forth the lawsuit. However, the courts have pushed it back twice.

Originally scheduled for May, the case was pushed to November due to the assumption lawmakers would try and sneak legislation into the state budget.

The November trial date was once again postponed due to the upcoming General Assembly session.

Legal Virginia gambling does not include skill games

Virginia lawmakers banned skill machines in 2021. These machines have a similar resemblance to slot machines.

A legal challenge from Sadler, a former NASCAR driver, led to a temporary court injunction. The injunction blocked state officials from enforcing the ban.

Sadler’s attorney, state Senator Bill Stanley, says the state’s ban is an attempt to crack down on small businesses. The duo says these small businesses are the ones that pose a threat to big gambling companies.

According to the state, the government must maintain a regulated Virginia gambling industry. Thus, any devices it sees as unregulated undercut that effort and poses risks to Virginia customers playing those machines.

Assistant Attorneys General Erin McNeill and Calvin Brown wrote:

“Gambling is germane to the budget. Furthermore, it is simply good public policy to allow lawmakers to cure a potential constitutional defect in a previously-passed statute, even if that good medicine is delivered in an amendment to the budget.”

In a Nov. 14 filing, Sadler’s attorneys countered by saying:

“The public should not be expected to read hundreds of pages of the Budget Bill over [the] Memorial Day holiday in order to determine what new crimes the General Assembly is considering. Nor should the public be surprised by such new crimes becoming effective 10 days after being signed by the Governor.”

Many expect the upcoming session to complicate the case, given Stanley’s status as a sitting Senator.

The next hearing in the case is Dec. 5. Retired Judge Louis Lerner should rule on the state’s effort to dismiss the legal challenge.

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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for PlayUSA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

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