Virginia Senate Overwhelmingly Rejects Governor's Skill Games Amendments

The Virginia Senate has overwhelmingly rejected Governor Glenn Youngkin's proposed amendments to the legislation concerning skill games within the state. The amendments, which sought to introduce a higher tax rate and more stringent regulatory measures on the operation of skill games, were met with significant opposition, culminating in a 34-6 vote against them.

The Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, Virginia viewed from the air. (Source: Getty Images)

Listen to this news articleLISTEN TO THIS ARTICLE:

The governor's amendments aimed to impose a 35% tax rate on the revenue from these machines, a notable increase from the 25% rate approved by the General Assembly. Additionally, the amendments proposed strict geographic restrictions that would effectively ban the machines in most of the state's metropolitan areas, along with heightened regulatory safeguards.

Senate and Governor at Odds

These measures were part of a broader effort by Governor Youngkin to address concerns over the proliferation and regulation of skill games, which have been a contentious issue in Virginia politics. The Senate rejection sends a clear message regarding the legislative priorities and the stance of the Senate on the matter of skill games.

Related: Virginia Convenience Stores Halt Lottery Sales over Skill Games Dispute

Virginia's skill game industry has been at the center of legal and legislative battles for several years, particularly after a ban enacted under former Governor Ralph Northam took effect. The industry received a temporary reprieve due to a one-year grace period granted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Supreme Court of Virginia reinstated the ban last year, prompting a renewed lobbying effort to change the law. The Senate's rejection of the governor's amendments represents a significant setback for those advocating for stricter controls on skill games.

More Regulation News

Back to Governor Youngkin

Senator Aaron Rouse, the bill's lead sponsor in the Senate, expressed his support for small businesses and urged the governor to sign the bill in its original form. He emphasized the importance of the legislation for small business owners throughout the Commonwealth and highlighted the bipartisan support for the bill. The fate of the skill games now rests once again with Governor Youngkin, who must decide whether to sign the bill, veto it, or seek a compromise.

The debate over skill games is emblematic of the broader discussions on gambling regulations and their impact on local communities and economies. Proponents of the skill games argue that they provide a valuable source of revenue and entertainment. At the same time, opponents raise concerns about potential social costs and the need for robust regulation to prevent exploitation and other negative outcomes.

An upcoming special session of the General Assembly may provide an opportunity for further discussion and negotiation on this issue. The session is scheduled to take place later this spring.


Leave a Comment

user avatar
My Name United States of America
Your Comment

User Comments

Comments for Virginia Senate Overwhelmingly Rejects Governor's Skill Games Amendments