RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Emporia native Hermie Sadler may not be behind the wheel of a NASCAR race car anymore, but he is a small business owner. And small business owner Hermie Sadler has launched a lawsuit against Gov. Ralph Northam over a new law set to go into effect on July 1 banning skill games.
Sadler and his family own and operate a number of truck stops, convenience stores and restaurants along southern Virginia, and skill games have been offered to customers in those establishments.
Citing the state’s involvement in legalizing and establishing casino gaming in Virginia, Sadler and his attorney, Virginia Senator Bill Stanley, filed a lawsuit in Greensville County Circuit Court against Northam, Attorney General Mark Herring and Virginia ABC declaring that the ban on skill games is unconstitutional.
“This is a sad day for me, being a lifelong Virginian,” Sadler said in a statement. “But I have no choice but to try and protect my business and my family as well as all of those that work with us and their families. I am also standing up for all of the ‘Mom and Pop’ operators across the state that perhaps own a family store in a rural or urban area of Virginia that are already struggling now have to deal with this. It’s just not fair.”
Sadler also said he has no issue with casino gaming coming to the commonwealth, but that it shouldn’t come at the expense of small business.
“We should let the free-market system work,” he said. “But, they are cleaning us out to pave the way for the bright lights and upper-class gambling of the casinos…If Virginia is going to legalize gambling, as it has, then it should allow skill games to be a part of that equation, and not limit who can play based upon their zip code or station in life.”