Virginia’s ban on skill games racial discrimination – NBC4 Washington

A group of Asian-American business owners in Virginia have asked the state attorney general to investigate what they say is racial discrimination amid impending skill gambling ban electronics in their stores.

The Roanoke-based Asian American Business Owners Association has called on Attorney General Mark Herring’s office to effectively block the ban that is due to go into effect Thursday by refusing to enforce it, the Richmond-Times Dispatch reported.

“In recent years, the game has been adopted by the Commonwealth when it is enjoyed by the privileged in posh casinos or by children in” family entertainment centers “,” said the complaint filed on Saturday. “But that same business is not acceptable when offered by convenience stores owned by Asian Americans or popular with minority or marginalized populations.”

The association was founded in 2007 and says it represents around 200 convenience store owners, most of whom are Indians.

“What we are looking for is a level playing field,” President Dharmendra Patel told the newspaper.

Senatorial Minority Leader Tommy Norment, a Republican from James City, supports the ban. He and finance president Janet Howell, a Democrat from Fairfax, said there was a need to stop the increase in previously unregulated gaming machines in convenience stores, truck stops and restaurants. They are often in direct competition with the Virginia Lottery, which is state-owned and dedicates its profits to public education.

In recent years, the game has been adopted by the Commonwealth when enjoyed by the privileged in posh casinos …

Howell called the games “sordid” in a legislative debate last year, later adding that she was referring to “the big companies that brought them to our state without authorization or oversight.”

The Virginia General Assembly voted last year to allow casino gaming and sports betting. During the same session, he passed the initial ban on skill machines.

The organization decided to delay the ban for a year while taxing machines $ 1,200 per month each and regulating them through the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority. Before the ban was postponed, Gov. Ralph Northam agreed to oppose or veto legislation that would allow the legal operation of the machines to continue.

More than $ 100 million in tax revenue has been generated by the machines over the past year, which has been allocated to help small businesses affected by COVID-19 restrictions.

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