© 2024
Virginia's Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Skill games don't make it into the budget, but advocates may have a glimmer of hope

Dozens of convenience store owners gather at the capital in yellow shirts in support of legalizing skill games.
Brad Kutner
Radio IQ
Back in April, dozens of convenience store owners gathered at the Capitol in yellow shirts in support of legalizing skill games.

Lawmakers were back in Richmond Monday to pass a budget. Supporters of skill games are still waiting for on resolution of that issue, though.

Convenience stores and truck stops across Virginia were hoping that the General Assembly and the governor would pass legislation allowing them to have slot machine-style skill games. But during a special session on the budget Monday, that effort seems to have fizzled. The budget does not have money to legalize or regulate skill games.

Senator Aaron Rouse is a Democrat from Virginia Beach who is hoping for a special session to make that happen.

"We are definitely in support of getting something done for skill games," Rouse says. "And whether that means coming back in a couple of weeks or in a month – we are definitely going to continue to work on this issue."

Delegate Paul Krizek is a Democrat from Fairfax County who disagrees.

"I don't really feel like one bill of that nature that's not an emergency really rises to something that requires a special session," he says. "They can come back next year and do it."

The governor still has the rest of this week to sign a bill allowing skill games in Virginia. But there’s no money in the budget to regulate them, and the governor is showing no signs he’s inclined to put his signature on it anytime soon.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.