Ex-NASCAR Driver Takes State of Virginia to Court over Suspended Skill Game Gambling

The former National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) driver and commentator Hermie Sadler has taken the state of Virginia to court over the so-called “skill game” gambling ban.

The lawsuit filed against the Commonwealth of Virginia has been aimed at protecting what Mr. Sadler described as the rights of local people and small business owners. As part of the legal action, Governor Ralph Northam, state’s Attorney General Mark Herring, as well as the Virginia ABC are being sued over a piece of legislation that would suspend games of skill across the state’s convenience stores and truck stops as of July 1st.

The family business of the former NASCAR driver includes owning several of these properties in Southside Virginia. The beginning of the week saw Mr. Sadler appear in court, claiming that small business operators that offer gambling services in the Commonwealth were being unfairly targetted with stricter measures that would strip them of the opportunity to offer skill games.

The legal action started by Mr. Sadler against the state seeks not only to overturn the aforementioned piece of legislation that was given the green light in April 2020 but to also grant an injunction permitting the operation of skill games while the main lawsuit is heard in court.

Skill Games Banned in Favor of Casino Gambling Operators in Virginia

The family business of the ex-NASCAR driver and commentator has involved skill games offering for most of the last 20 years. However, the new bill has eliminated the business’s presence by casino interests setting foot in Virginia.

Skill games are categorized as currency-operated video games that involve puzzle solving or video gameplay in order for the player to maximize their score or credits. Such games require players to use their knowledge or a strategy to potentially win new puzzles or free replays and winning such a game depends on how skillfully they play the game.

One of the most eager opponents of gambling, Senator Stanley, filed the lawsuit on behalf of Mr. Sadler as he believes that some basic freedoms are being compromised in this case. As he noted, the state of Virginia has made the decision to make casino gambling, sports betting, horse racing, and slot machines legal, but at the same time, it has picked on small businesses like the one of Mr. Sadler.

According to research, games of skill account for revenue of $130 million for Virginia-based businesses on an annual basis. On the other hand, operators were subject to a $1,200 tax per machine every month, with the money raised for a coronavirus relief fund.

The skilled games’ terminals owned by Mr. Sadler generated almost $600,000 in revenue for the state during the time of operation. The former NASCAR driver has shared that, in his opinion, skill games are being eliminated to benefit casino operators who are not interested in competition.