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Skill Games Fuel Success for Small Business Owners

Mar 7, 2024 11:12:18 AM • By Gina Trumm Reinhardt

In the community of Sterling, Virginia, nestled in Loudoun County, Richard Gladu, owner of a local convenience store, shares his journey of entrepreneurship and the transformative impact that Queen of Virginia skill games have had on his business. As part of the Pace-O-Matic More Than A Game campaign, Gladu's story stands as a testament to the positive influence that skill games can have on small business owners.


A seasoned professional in the food service industry, Gladu embarked on his entrepreneurial journey 22 years ago when he opened a convenience store in Sterling, Virginia. Initially a solo venture, the business has since grown with Gladu now supported by his wife and a dedicated team of 25 employees. The strategic location in a competitive market in Loudoun County presented a challenging yet promising landscape for Gladu's business.


Before delving into the positive impact of skill games, Gladu candidly discusses the challenges faced by his business, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. A significant drop in foot traffic and customer counts posed a threat to revenue and overall business sustainability. In the midst of these challenges, Gladu recognized the need for innovative solutions to attract customers and boost revenue.


In a bid to enhance foot traffic and generate additional revenue, Gladu decided to introduce Queen of Virginia skill games to his convenience store. Initially hesitant, he observed other successful implementations and decided to incorporate a few machines into his store. The positive results were almost immediate, with foot traffic increasing and the games becoming a popular attraction for customers.


Gladu addresses the initial hesitations he had regarding the skill games, such as concerns about space utilization and uncertainties about the impact on the store's atmosphere. However, these concerns were quickly dispelled as the games seamlessly integrated into the store, bringing in a diverse range of customers.


The skill games proved to be a game-changer for Gladu's business, offering an additional source of revenue during challenging times. The revenue generated from the games directly supported payroll, covering the costs of 25 employees and contributing to the livelihoods of multiple families. The games also attracted new customers, leading to increased sales in other areas of the store, such as the sub shop and pizza counter.


Gladu highlights an unexpected benefit of the skill games: increased safety during overnight shifts. The games attracted players during late hours, contributing to a more vibrant and secure atmosphere in the store.


In addressing legislators, Gladu emphasizes the importance of supporting small businesses by allowing skill games to operate. He underlines the positive economic impact, both for businesses and the state, citing the substantial tax revenue generated by these games.


Gladu's success story exemplifies the positive impact of skill games on small businesses. Beyond entertainment, these games have become integral to revenue generation, community engagement, and even ensuring the safety of businesses during less busy hours. As small businesses continue to navigate challenges, skill games emerge as a valuable asset, contributing to their growth, resilience, and ability to support local economies.


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The above interview reflects experiences from when skill games were previously operating in Virginia. The games have since been disabled in compliance with state law. If you are interested in supporting skill games in Virginia, please visit www.joinvamac.com

Tags: More Than A Game

About The Author: Gina Trumm Reinhardt

Gina Trumm Reinhardt