Pittsylvania County says stop running certain ‘skill game’ machines or you may go to jail

Any operators who don’t comply could be subject to a class 6 felony

Skill game (WSLS)

PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. – Operators of “skill game” machines in Pittsylvania County have 15 days to cease operation. If they don’t, they could face jail time.

Bryan Haskins, the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Pittsylvania County, is sending out a letter to all known operators saying as much.

“It appears that many people believe that any machine, whether a ‘skill game’ or other machine which is also deemed an ‘illegal gambling device,’ are allowed to operate in Virginia. This is simply not the case,” wrote Haskins.

He cited a temporary injunction that was entered in Greensville County Circuit Court as a main source of confusion.

The temporary injunction, which is in place until May 18 of this year, prohibits enforcement of the “skill game” machines that have been operating within the ABC regulatory framework.

However, any skill machine operating outside of that framework is deemed illegal, even if it’s being used at a location that was previously approved under the ABC. Any other machine, like a non-skill game “fish table,” is still defined as an illegal gambling device and has never been exempt or fallen, meaning the temporary injunction doesn’t apply.

The letter from Haskins will be sent to any establishment that is known to operate “skill game” machines.

Any operators who don’t comply could be subject to a class 6 felony, which is punishable by one to 10 years of jail time and up to a $20,000 fine. They could also be subject to a civil penalty of up to $25,000 for each gambling device.

You can read the full letter from Haskins below:

About the Author:

Samantha Smith joined WSLS 10’s award-winning digital team as a content producer in July 2018.