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Court rejects AG attempt to dismiss litigation, will hear case to restore skill games in VA

Skill games go dark in Virginia after ban takes effect.
Skill games go dark in Virginia after ban takes effect.(WDBJ7)
Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 5:40 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 12, 2021 at 5:41 PM EDT
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(WDBJ) - The case to restore the use of skill games in Virginia received a boost Tuesday after the Circuit Court for Greensville County rejected Attorney General Mark Herring’s demurrer filing that it be dismissed.

Virginia business owner and former NASCAR driver Hermie Sadler is seeking declaratory and injunctive relief from the provisions of Virginia Senate Bill 971, which was responsible for banning skill games effective as of July 1.

A spokesperson for Governor Northam said he first proposed robust regulation in 2020, but the industry opposed a 35% tax rate. The General Assembly rejected that bill and voted to ban the games.

Sadler’s lawsuit alleges the ban is unconstitutional and points to negative impacts on revenue for hundreds of Virginia’s small and family-owned businesses, including truck stops, convenience stores and restaurants.

“I am very pleased with the outcome of today’s hearing,” commented Sadler through his lawyers, The Stanley Group, following the development. “While the wheels of justice may not move as fast as I’m used to, they still turn. Today, they turned in the right direction, guaranteeing that my business will get its day in court. December 6 will be here before we know it. I am confident that we will be successful in prevailing and restoring the constitutional rights of hundreds of small businesses across Virginia.”

Attorneys for Sadler can now proceed to a scheduled December 6 court hearing with their contention that “the law violates constitutional free speech protections and due process, as well as the vagueness and unenforceability of the statute as it is currently written.”

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