Virginia Small Businesses Adapt to New Law Prohibiting Skill Games

In late October, the Supreme Court of Virginia reinstated a state-wide ban on skill games. As a result, many businesses in Virginia have stopped offering these games altogether. However, some businesses continue to operate with limited or no enforcement of the ban until November 15th.

One such business is Finnigan’s Cove in Harrisonburg, which began offering skill games last year during the pandemic when business was slow. According to Donna Finnigan, owner of Finnigan’s Cove, “It’s still helpful you know the economy is bad, the food is high it’s just still very helpful.” The skill games were popular among customers and brought in additional income for the business.

However, with the ban in place, Finnigan has noticed a decline in customers and income. “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 understands why there is a need for regulation around these games but wishes there was more support for small businesses like hers. “It definitely needs to be regulated,” she said. “Plus per square footage, they ought to tell you you can only have so many instead of having little mini casinos everywhere.”

Finnigan’s Cove does have other gaming machines including Golden Tee and Big Buck Hunter but they don’t bring in as many customers as skill games do. “I just think if they’re saying they want to help small business

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