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Local, Public Safety

Skill games era comes to an end; localities throughout Virginia to resume enforcement

Crystal Graham
police car
(© Oleksandr – stock.adobe.com)

An influx of skill games in Virginia will come to an end after the Virginia Supreme Court’s actions last month lifted an injunction declaring the games illegal.

Jurisdictions throughout Virginia delayed enforcement of the skill games ban as a lawsuit moved through the court system challenging the ban.

Virginia’s Attorney General recommended that no enforcement action regarding skill games begin prior to Nov. 15.

The Virginia General Assembly enacted laws in 2020, and the laws were amended in 2022, making possessing, operating or playing skill games a criminal offense with civil and criminal penalties.

The Waynesboro Police Department and Waynesboro Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office will resume enforcement of the illegal gambling code beginning on Dec. 1. Between now and then, the Waynesboro Police Department will be notifying establishments of the reinstatement of the ban.

Staunton Commonwealth’s Attorney Jeffrey Gaines has granted a grace period through Jan. 1 to allow time to educate the public and to allow local businesses to remove all skill games from their establishments. Staunton Police Department personnel will attempt to notify businesses known to utilize skill games.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.