Last month, the Supreme Court of Virginia reinstated a state-wide ban on skill games. Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares recommended that no enforcement of the skill games begin until November 15th, 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. Owner Donna Finnigan said, “It’s still helpful you know the economy is bad, the food is high it’s just still very helpful.” At Finnigan’s Cove, gamers must be paying customers and purchase food or drinks to play the skill games. Donna said that it draws them in and keeps them coming back for more. With the ban in place, she has already noticed 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.” Donna 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. “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 also has other gaming machines such as Golden Tee and Big Buck Hunter but she said 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, that’s what they should do,” Donna said