Published: May 15, 2024

Virginia Lottery retailers resume selling tickets following talks with Governor about skill game ban

Convenience stores are pausing their protest and are selling Virginia Lottery tickets again because they said they're seeing progress with Legislation efforts.

They paused the sale in protest of the skill games ban for a few days, last week. On Monday, Governor Glenn Youngkin said they plan to work on skill games legislation.

Convenience store owners said this is legislation that cannot wait until next year because banning skill games is hurting their business. Sapan Sachdeva, the owner of Burley's Market said, "It’s very important for us to have skilled games back turned on, as soon as possible.”

Sachdeva said they haven’t had skill games in his store for about six months now after the Virginia Supreme Court reinstated the ban. "It’s our livelihood, it’s our employees which we want to retain and keep them.”

Munir Rassiwala, a member of the Virginia Merchants and Amusement Coalition said he doesn't know if a lot of the convenience stores "can survive another winter without the games."

The Virginia Merchants and Amusement coalition said after discussions with legislative leaders who have been in talks with the governor, they said they are anticipating a resolution within the next three to four weeks. Governor Glenn Youngkin said Monday, "What we decided is that we would pick that up at another day and that’s the commitment that we made.”

That’s why the coalition said they paused the Virginia Lottery protest, they are seeing progress.

Rassiwala said they expect the current legislation will fail but a new compromise bill will come about. "We’re trying to make sure it has the consensus of the governor on board already.”

Store owners said they have suffered losses from pausing Virginia Lottery sales, but that it was important to get the governor’s attention. "We are hurting, of course we are hurting and hopefully Governor Youngkin will take the decision and turn them on July 1st.”

“It’s better for my customers, it's better for us, it’s better for my employees, so the sooner the better," he said.

The Virginia Lottery declined an interview with ABC13 but released a statement that said, "Virginia businesses that sell Lottery tickets, meaning they partner with the Lottery to help raise funds for K-12 public education, have a contract with the Lottery in which they agree to sell Lottery games and redeem winning tickets."

"The Lottery works with each individual retailer as to what works best for them, and we make it a practice not to tell retailers how to run their business," the Virginia Lottery said.

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