A Virginia skill-game company has sued convenience stores nearly 150 times

A restaurant on Main Street in Richmond around the corner from Capitol Square advertises Queen...
A restaurant on Main Street in Richmond around the corner from Capitol Square advertises Queen of Virginia Skill, a subsidiary of Georgia-based software maker Pace-O-Matic, which has won ABC approval and argues its games are the only legal varieties in Virginia. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)
Published: Aug. 23, 2022 at 10:13 AM EDT
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Queen of Virginia, one of the main skill-game companies operating in the state, has long characterized its enterprise as a way to let small business owners get a piece of the new moneymaking opportunities that have come with Virginia’s newly relaxed approach to gambling.

By agreeing to host the company’s slots-like machines, convenience stores and restaurants would get a share of the profits, an opportunity many business owners have said helped them get through the pandemic. But those deals don’t always end on friendly terms.

A Virginia Mercury review of state court records found Queen of Virginia has filed nearly 150 breach-of-contract lawsuits against convenience store owners who agreed to host the company’s video games.

In dozens of nearly identical lawsuits reviewed by the Mercury, Queen of Virginia claims a store owes tens of thousands in damages for removing Queen machines and/or replacing them with similar games from a competitor. Court records show Queen of Virginia contracts includes a broad non-competition clause that gives the company exclusive rights to have its games at a particular store.

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NBC12 is a partner with The Virginia Mercury, an independent, nonprofit online news...
NBC12 is a partner with The Virginia Mercury, an independent, nonprofit online news organization covering state government and policy.(Virginia Mercury)