Coalition of Virginia C-stores Halt Lottery Sales in Protest of Skill Games Ban

May 13, 2024 | Lottery News

The boycott could mean the loss of $2.3 million in daily revenue for the state.

RICHMOND, Va. (May 10, 2024) — The Virginia Merchants and Amusement Coalition (VA MAC) launched a boycott on the sale of Virginia Lottery tickets in response to Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s amendments to a bill meant to legalize skill games in the state.

The Virginia Small Business Economic Development Act was meant to legalize and regulate skill games in Virginia; however, according to ABC 8, the proposed amendments would ban the games from most major cities, including Roanoke, Richmond and Portsmouth.

As a result of the impasse between the governor and the General Assembly, and with a new budget set for a vote on May 15, convenience stores with the VA MAC network will cease sales of lottery tickets as of May 9. The goal, the coalition stated, was to keep up economic pressure on the state government until an agreement to protect skill games is reached.

“By stopping Virginia Lottery sales, convenience store owners across the Commonwealth will show the economic impact that the closing of convenience stores will have on the Virginia Lottery and the tax revenue they generate,” VA MAC said in a statement to ABC 8. “They will also show their continued support for legislative champions who continue to fight for small businesses.”

VA MAC was created last year in order to support Virginia small businesses by protecting legal skill games and aiding law enforcement in combating illegal gaming.

“This is about looking out for Virginia’s small businesses who count on skill games to create local jobs, generate revenue, and support economic growth in our communities,” said VA MAC President, Rich Kelly, owner of Hard Times Café. “VA MAC is just the beginning of our efforts to support the regulation of skill games and to stand with law enforcement in their work to end illegal gaming.”

According to the association, skill games provide additional revenue to small businesses by supplementing their traditional income base. For many businesses, these games made it possible to recover from the income losses experienced during the pandemic, manage inflationary pricing and meet higher-than-expected wages during the current labor shortage.

The VA MAC boycott could have some significant effects on the state budget if it lasts. ABC 8 reported Virginia stores sell more than $12.5 million in lottery tickets every single day, generating $2.3 million in proceeds.

Author: Amanda Koprowski

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Amanda Koprowski is the associate editor at Convenience Store News. She is a new member of the team, having joined the company in December of 2022.

SOURCE: Convenience Store News.

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