Virginia Small Business Owners Launch Coalition Supporting Skill Games, Opposing Illegal Gaming

Virginia Merchants and Amusement Coalition (VA MAC) advocates for regulating and taxing skill games and aiding law enforcement in tackling illegal gaming.

Today, small business owners from a growing collection of restaurants, retail establishments, bars, convenience stores, truck stops, and other organizations proudly announce the formation of the Virginia Merchants and Amusement Coalition (VA MAC). The coalition's mission is to support Virginia small businesses by protecting legal skill games and aiding law enforcement in combating illegal gaming.

Members of VA MAC are working to further educate Virginia lawmakers on how important skill games are to local businesses while urging the General Assembly to pass legislation that would regulate the games, producing tax revenue for the Commonwealth.

"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 with four locations in northern Virginia. "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."

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 the skyrocketing price of goods, and meet higher-than-expected wages during the current labor shortage.

Skill games provide location partners with 40% of profits with no hidden fees or additional costs. Another 35% goes to a local operator. Virginia-based distributors also make a percentage of the profit, ensuring that over 75% of the revenue generated by skill games stays within the local community. Legal skill games have also generated hundreds of millions of dollars for the Commonwealth in additional tax revenue. 

"Our Commonwealth is at a crossroads. Until skill games are regulated, Virginia will continue to miss out on an estimated $130 million in tax revenue per year, and potentially much more," added President Kelly. "Now our small businesses need your help to keep their doors open — and keep skill games in our locations. At VA MAC, we're spreading that message across the Commonwealth, encouraging Virginians to contact their legislators and express the urgency in protecting legal skill games and supporting Virginia small businesses."

Regulating and taxing legal skill games will also help law enforcement better identify bad actors and put a stop to illegal gaming operations. These entities harm communities and jeopardize the success of legitimate establishments.

In addition to advocating for the regulation of skill games, VA MAC members have made serving their communities a critical part of the organization's mission. In the coming months, VA MAC members will give back in various ways, contributing to local causes such as homeless shelters, youth sports, and organizations that fight food insecurity.

To learn more about VA MAC, visit

Source: Virginia Merchants and Amusement Coalition

About Virginia Merchants and Amusement Coalition (VA MAC)

Virginia Merchants and Amusements Coalition (VA MAC) is an organization whose members include retail establishments, clubs, lodges, and nonprofit organizations. Our goal is to protect our right to operate skill games driving revenue for our members.