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General Assembly - March 2, 2020

From the State Capitol in Richmond, I’m Craig Carper

Lawmakers have a lot of issues to resolve before their scheduled adjournment Saturday. 

The legislature is poised to approve an increase to the minimum wage but must decide by how much and how quickly they’ll make it happen, as well as what kinds of jobs would be exempt from the increase and if certain regions of the state may set different minimum wages. 

Lawmakers may legalize casino gambling but they’re expected to ban so called grey games, or games of skill. These are video gambling machines frequently found at convenience stores and bars. Business owners who operate the machines, say they bring in a lot of money, and support jobs. 

Nathan Thompson, Owner, East Coast Amusements

“Right now it’s not regulated. The state should be taxing them. And I think they could make hundreds of millions of dollars with these games. It’s a lot of money they’re leaving out.” 

Japan Joshi owns multiple convenience stores in Hampton Roads. 

“As soon as big casinos come, we’re gonna lose all the money. We’re gonna lose all the revenues also. So we want skill games to survive the minimum wage and cigarette taxes.”

The Virginia Lottery, whose profits help fund public schools, says these games have significantly hurt their sales.

For Assembly 20, I’m Craig Carper. 

VPM News is the staff byline for articles and podcasts written and produced by multiple reporters and editors.
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