Northam Signs Alcohol, ‘Games of Skill’ Bills Into Law


By Rich Griset, Virginia Business

Queen of Virginia’s machines were popular at the Lucky 7 convenience store. Photo courtesy The Daily Progress

Gov. Ralph Northam announced on Friday that he has signed several bills into law, including ones that allow for the delivery and take-out of alcoholic beverages and the ban of so-called “games of skill.”

House Bill 1879, sponsored by Del. David Bulova, D-Fairfax, and Senate Bill 1299, sponsored by state Sen. John Bell, D-Ashburn, codify Northam’s Executive Directive Ten and allow for delivery and take-out of alcoholic beverages until July 1, 2022. The legislation also directs the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority to broadly study the issue and provide a report to the General Assembly by Nov. 1, 2021. The governor’s order, enacted last year, aimed to help struggling restaurants and bars during COVID-related restrictions.

Northam also amended House Bill 2168, sponsored by Del. Don Scott, D-Portsmouth, to clarify that so-called “games of skill” — gambling machines that are similar to slots, commonly used in convenience stores, restaurants, truck stops and other businesses — will be prohibited beginning July 1, 2021. As passed by the General Assembly, the bill states that any person involved with the ownership or management of a gambling device set up in an unregulated location is subject to a civil penalty of up to $25,000.


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