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The Queen of Virginia Skill Game that Saved a Local Bar and Community

Dec 11, 2023 4:46:26 PM • By Gina Trumm Reinhardt

Nora Barnes, owner of a local bar, shares her journey with skill games, or as she calls them, the "Green Machines." Nora opens up about the challenges her bar faced and how these machines not only became a financial lifeline but also a source of joy for the tight-knit community she serves. As Nora shares the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, she explains how local businesses faced closure, and acknowledges that without the Green Machines, her beloved bar might have met the same fate as countless others.

"There's absolutely no way I could have stayed open without them," she admits.

Thinking back to the initial struggle, Nora paints a picture of a community in crisis. Money had to be kept behind the bar to pay employees, but with the arrival of the Green Machines, a wave of relief washed over her. "They saved me many times already," she says, explaining that her customers come in more often because of the games.


The community around Nora's bar found solace in Queen of Virginia Skill, creating an atmosphere of excitement and camaraderie. Nora recounts how her customers would eagerly wait in line on Friday nights, excited for their turn at the Queen machine. The machines not only became a source of entertainment but also played a pivotal role in maintaining the financial health of the bar.

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Nora reflects on the days when Queen of Virginia Skill was temporarily taken away due to legislative concerns. The games, no longer being played, left behind a loss of excitement, energy, and 20% of her business. Nora candidly expressed her frustration at the situation. She explained that convenience stores and gas stations seemed to escape the scrutiny, but she faced the threat of hefty fines and legal repercussions.


In the face of adversity, Nora's determination, and the support of her community prevailed. Queen of Virginia Skill returned, and with them, a renewed sense of hope. Nora highlights the skill aspect of these games, emphasizing that winning involves more than just pressing a button. The machines brought back not only the thrill of winning but also a sense of engagement for her patrons.


As time went on, Nora became a passionate advocate for small businesses, urging legislators to recognize the vital role Queen of Virginia Skill games play in their survival. She sees them not just as a source of revenue but as a lifeline for struggling businesses, a sentiment echoed in the $140 million given to the state, a lifeline that saved businesses like Nora's.


The story of Nora Barnes and her bar is one of resilience, community, and the unexpected role that skill games played in preserving a local treasure. Nora's passion for her establishment and the community it serves is evident, and her plea for continued support for small businesses rings loud and clear. Queen of Virginia Skill is more than a game, it became a lifeline for Nora and countless others.

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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: Business Owners, Community, More Than A Game

About The Author: Gina Trumm Reinhardt

Gina Trumm Reinhardt