Despite this victory, a new trial date is being planned for spring 2023 to deliver a more permanent verdict regarding skill games.
Pace-O-Matic spokesperson Michael Barley said: “First, we want to thank Hermie Sadler and his legal team for fighting so passionately on behalf of small businesses that depend on this revenue.
“We are pleased that legal skill games will continue operating in Virginia and providing much-needed revenue to small business owners across the state. We anticipate the final court decision will uphold the legality of skill games in the commonwealth.
“However, without further regulation and additional taxation, taxpayers are missing out on nearly $100m in tax revenue that could have gone toward critical projects along with curbing illegal games that are proliferating in Virginia communities.”
Judge Lerner cited First Amendment scholar and lawyer Rodney Smolla in his ruling, saying: “The Commonwealth does not control the Free Speech clause. The Free Speech clause controls the Commonwealth.”
Skills games generated nearly $140m in tax revenue for the Virginia Covid-19 Relief Fund and local municipalities from 1 July 2020 to 1 July 2021.
After the Virginia law allowing skill games expired, NASCAR driver and small business owner Hermie Sadler won an injunction in court to continue operating in Virginia pending the outcome of an appeal.
Barley added: “If these games were important enough to support small businesses during Covid, they certainly are important now with the economic slowdown and should be allowed to continue operating in a regulated market today and in the future.”