Outgoing Attorney General Executes Appeal on Behalf of Out-of-State Casino and Gaming Interests
EMPORIA, VIRGINIA, December 22, 2021 – Bill Stanley, Anthony F. “Tony” Troy, and Jason Hicks, attorneys for Virginia business owner and NASCAR legend Hermie Sadler, today responded to outgoing Attorney General Mark Herring’s appeal of the Greensville Circuit Court’s preliminary injunction restoring the operation of skills games in hundreds of Virginia’s small businesses.
Simultaneously with the appeal brief being filed by Attorney General Herring, an amicus or “friend of the court” brief has also been filed by Colonial Downs Group/Rosie’s Gaming Emporium on behalf of large out-of-state casinos and gaming interests, in support of Herring’s effort to reinstitute the skills game ban. Colonial Downs is owned by Revolutionary Racing, a Chicago-based group of investors and gaming executives. In addition, Sen. Janet Howell (D-32) of Northern Virginia has now also sought permission from the Supreme Court to file a brief in support of big casinos. While counsel for Sadler expressed surprise that Colonial Downs would try to enter the Sadler case at this stage of the proceedings, they said they were not as surprised by the filing of a brief in support of the big casinos personally submitted by Sen. Howell, because she had previously expressed on the floor of the Virginia State Senate that that when it came to people who engaged in the skill game industry in their small Virginia businesses, “I think of them unseemly, but mostly I think they’re kind of sleazy.” (Senate floor speech, 4/22/20)
“With the filing of Revolutionary Racing’s amicus brief, which is effectively a request to be a party to the appeal, the curtain has finally been pulled back to reveal that out-of-state casinos are driving this attack on skill games and Virginia’s small businesses,” declared Bill Stanley of The Stanley Law Group, attorneys for Sadler. “We suspected this all along. The attempt to ban skill games was never about good government policy. It was about money and greed and the big casinos were behind it.
“These out-of-state gaming interests see Virginia small business owners and “mom-and-pop” convenience stores and restaurants as competition, and they will stop at nothing to monopolize this new industry in our Commonwealth” Stanley stated. “Hermie’s important court victory has forced these Chicago and Las Vegas gambling interests to come ‘out of the shadows’ as they attempt to crush those who get in their way.”
“If the soon-to-be-former Attorney General ever engages in self-reflection exercises as to why he is entering the final weeks of his term, the decision to appeal this injunction would be a good place to start,” noted former Virginia Attorney General Tony Troy of The Stanley Law Group. “He’s helping big, out-of-state gaming interests crush local small business owners like Hermie Sadler.
“There’s been a widespread surge in illegal ‘chance’ games in Virginia following the banishment of legalized skill games since July. Until January 15, Mark Herring is the primary enforcer of Virginia’s illegal gambling laws, but he has abrogated this responsibility. The Attorney General should stand on the side of his fellow Virginians, not out-of-state special interests who don’t care about the people of our commonwealth,” said Troy.
“I am once again disappointed in the actions of our current Attorney General,” Hermie Sadler remarked. “He continues to align himself, and now our state, with out-of-state corporate gambling fat-cats. He should be standing up for the rights of the people he is supposed to serve - Virginians.
“Fortunately, the courts have already ruled in favor of Virginia small businesses and against this unconstitutional piece of legislation designed to benefit these out-of-state, mega-gaming companies over the small business owner from Virginia. I remain confident, as I have throughout this court proceeding, that we will win on the merits of our case. I call on all small business owners in Virginia to stand with us against these big out-of-state corporations who want to put us out of business,” said Sadler.
Lead counsel Bill Stanley and his law partner, former Virginia Attorney General Anthony F. “Tony” Troy, of The Stanley Law Group assembled a blue-ribbon trial team who successfully argued the Petition for Preliminary Injunction that outgoing Attorney General Herring is now appealing. Mr. Sadler’s legal team includes Ryan T. McDougle, Esq., Jason Hicks, Esq. of Womble Bond Dickinson, and renowned constitutional legal scholar and lawyer Rod Smolla, Esq.
Autumn Johnson, Esq.