Crystal Stump (Founder and CEO of ABC Consulting) and former VA ABC Special Agent from the Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority published a new video. Her latest video, on our YouTube channel is going to tell you everything you need to know about Skill Gaming and how you can do Skill Gaming, in Virginia.
Pour yourself a drink; you’re going to need it!
“If you are watching this video, you are probably wondering what is going on with the skill gaming in Virginia. So let me go back and recap what has happened, earlier this year. At the beginning of 2020, the General Assembly voted to ban skill gaming, in Virginia. For those of you that aren’t familiar with skill gaming, they are the Slot Machine looking devices that are in convenience stores and restaurants that a player puts cash money in to play. They play and if they win, they get a printed ticket that is redeemable for cash. The game prints a ticket and the ticket is given to an employee of that location – that employee gives that player cash.
For the last couple of years, these machines have been circulating throughout Virginia and there has been some controversy about these games – is it gambling or is it skill gaming? (PS. That is an entirely different video, on the differences, that I won’t go into today.). This year, Skill Gaming was banned. Then COVID-19 happened and the Governor overturned the ban on Skill Gaming, provided that these Skill Gaming distributors pay a $1,200 tax, to the COVID-19 Relief Fund. So now, all distributors of these Skill Games must pay $1,200 per month, per machine, to the state of Virginia. Well, guess who is regulating it? The Virginia ABC Authority. The Governor put this project on the Virginia ABC Authority, to get all these games registered and to regulate the games. So this video is going to go over what you need to know if you want to be compliant and if you want to have Skill Gaming in Virginia.
- Skill Games must be registered with the Virginia ABC Authority. At this point (June 24, 2020) the Virginia ABC Authority doesn’t have a registration form (yet) and registrations are due July 7, 2020! As soon as the registrations forms are available, ABC Consulting will be registering our clients’ games. If you would like to go ahead and sign on with us, today (or any time before July 7th), we can register your games for you.
- Games HAVE to be placed in an active Alcohol Licensed establishment, by June 30, 2020. So if you do want to operate Skill Games in Virginia, you going to need to have them in an alcohol-licensed location, by June 30, 2020, and register the game (with that location) by July 7, 2020.
- There IS a regulation that allows distributors to move 20% of their games in the first 60 days, after being registered. So, if you want to move your games, you can move up to 20% of your registered games, in the first 60 days. If you want to get assistance with relocating games, ABC Consulting can assist with the paperwork to move those registered games, throughout the year.
- Monthly reporting will be required for each device. Every month, the distributor of the game has to file a report (deadline for this report is the 20th of each month). The details of this report will be things like: Income, Payouts. Taxes. Profits. And you’ll need to pay your taxes, each month. Failure to file this report or pay your taxes is hefty. First offense is $25,000! Second offense is $50,000! You need to make sure that you have a good compliance procedure in place. That is our specialty. ABC Consulting can save the day for your business by helping with compliance procedures and even filing the reporting for you. That is our business – making sure our clients stay compliant with VA ABC Authority.
- If you are watching this video and want to place Skill Games, you need to have an alcohol license in place. Even if you do not, at this moment, have an alcohol license, ABC Consulting can still help. It takes approximately 45 days, in Virginia, to get an active Virginia Alcohol license, so you cannot get a license by July 7th. You’ll need a full 45 days to apply and receive a license. But how we can help is by getting you your Alcohol License and help you be put on the list for the 20% of the Skill Games that are allowed to be moved in the first 60 days.
- There is a website www.VAGamingCompliance.com that you visit to register those games – once the form is filled out, I will review everything and then submit the application.
- If you want help with the monthly reporting, we can assist with that, as well.
- We have a training course that is available (right now!) at www.ToastVA.com for alcohol seller/server training – and we have added a module, specific to Skill Gaming regulation. If you are an alcohol licensed location and you are going to add Skill Gaming to your business, or you are a distributor of these games, it would be important for you and your sellers/servers to know the regulations around placing games and serving alcohol.
If you would like to schedule a consultation call, we’ll be happy to sit down and discuss your business with you and alcohol license. 800-785-0161
There have been many restaurants and alcohol licensed locations that have been closed and not making revenue, during Shutdown and COVID-19. Now, these Skill Games are an opportunity for potential revenue, for them. Whatever agreement that they have with the distributor of the game will give them a new revenue stream. The distributor of the game will have to abide by regulations and pay a tax on them. This is a win:win:win for all: the distributor of the games, the state of Virginia and the business that we represent. Let’s talk!
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*Disclaimer: This article and its contents represent the opinions of the author only. It is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice. ABC Consulting is a private consulting firm, and in no way do we represent the VA ABC Authority. You should not act upon any such information without seeking qualified professional advice based upon your situation.