April 18, 2024 3 min read


Virginia Senate Rejects Youngkin’s Skill Games Amendments

Under Youngkin’s amendments, most of Virginia would have been rendered inaccessible to providers of slot games

The Virginia Senate rejected Governor Glenn Youngkin’s amendments to a proposal to legalize and tax skill games. However, Youngkin can still opt to veto the legislation and keep skill games banned.

Skill games have been a point of contention for years. While similar to slot machines, such games allow players to choose the winning paylines which, according to proponents, is an element of skill.

In any case, these machines have avoided strict regulation for years. A ban on skill games was passed in 2020 and implemented in 2021. However,. It was eventually suspended around the COVID period and reinstated in 2023. Now, proponents of skill games are fighting back to change the law.

As mentioned, the new measure would legalize and tax skill games. However, Youngkin implemented amendments that would have prevented skill games from being offered 2,500 feet from learning establishes and places of worship. Additionally, his amendments also prevented skill games from being offered within 35 miles of casino properties. To top it all off, the governor also envisioned a 35% tax, a significant increase from the 25% tax rate approved by the General Assembly.

Under Youngkin’s amendments, most of Virginia would have been rendered inaccessible to providers of slot games. His tough regulations immediately sparked outrage among proponents of the games. As a result, the Senate voted 34-6 to reject Youngkin’s stricter provisions.

While Youngkin can still veto the legislation, lawmakers would likely convene to discuss the matter instead.

Youngkin representatives commented on the matter, explaining that the governor remains concerned with certain details of the legislation. However, he remains open to revisiting some of the geographic limits outlined in his amendments, a spokesperson said.

Virginia Remains Divided

People in the state remain divided on the matter. While some believe that skill games must be restricted, others have pointed out that the machines are a lifeline for many small businesses.

Munir Rassiwala, an owner of convenience stores across the state, said that he, as someone who voted for Youngkin at the elections, was disappointed in the governor’s willingness to prioritize bigger businesses over small businesses.

On the contrary, Virginians Against Neighborhood Slot Machines urged the governor to protect public safety and veto the bill.

Delegate Paul Krizek, who has been a promoter of tougher regulations for skill games, said that he is a big believer that “half a loaf is better than no loaf.” He suggested that there are many things that the governor and the proponents of skill gaming could meet halfway on.


Angel has a passion for all forms of writing, be it fiction or nonfiction. His curious nature gives him an ace up his sleeve when researching a new topic. Angel’s thirst for knowledge, paired with adaptability, always helps him find his way around.

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