The gambling industry is one of the hottest topics for lawmakers in Virginia. Many officials here want to see the state expand its number of legal gambling options. This week, a bill to allow commercial casinos in Virginia advanced through a Senate sub-committee.
This is a huge win for gambling fans and proponents throughout the state. It seems likely that these commercial gambling venues will be approved in 2020. Today, we’re going to look at the state’s current casino laws, and discuss how they might change this year.
Virginia’s Current Gambling Laws, Explained
Virginia is home to more than 8 million people. Over the past couple of years, more residents here have begun pushing to change the state’s gambling laws. Virginia is known for its hardline stance towards the gambling industry, with almost no legal gaming options available right now.
This includes casino gambling. Virginia is one of the states which does not currently allow any tribal or commercial casinos. This wasn’t always the case, though. In the 1800s, Virginia was home to several major gambling venues.
These were eventually shut down in the early 1900s. Almost all forms of gambling remained illegal here throughout the 20th century. In 1987, Virginia finally legalized a state lottery. Eight years later, lawmakers began pushing to allow riverboat casinos. Unfortunately, this was shot down in the Senate committee.
Another attempt to legalize river casinos was made in 2013. Once again, these plans were quickly shut down. There are several online casinos available in VA, yet none are regulated by the state.
Finally, it appears officials here are open to allowing some gambling venues. A bill to allow commercial casinos was introduced in November of 2019. This week, it was approved by the state Senate sub-committee.
Commercial Casinos in Virginia May Soon Become Legal
The US gambling industry is growing at an unprecedented rate. More states are beginning to realize how lucrative legal casino gambling and sports betting can be. It seems this is the case in Virginia. Lawmakers here are finally beginning to embrace the idea of legal casinos.
This week, the Senate General Laws and Technology Subcommittee on Gaming officially approved the recent bill to legalize commercial casinos in Virginia. This bill is a continuation of another bill, called SB 1126, that called for a study on the impact that casinos would have on Virginia.
State officials are beginning to sign-off on this new legislation. Residents in the state will need to approve new casino proposals before any of these venues can be built. A majority of voters are needed to approve the new plans.
Most agree that Virginia’s casino industry will be successful. There are already several cities here that claim to be interested in opening one of these venues.
Conservative groups continue to raise concerns over this new bill. Fortunately, there are enough statistics available that prove how valuable these venues may be to the state. It seems as if we already know where some of these casinos will open.
Five Virginia Cities May Soon Open Casinos
There are still several steps that need to be taken before the bill to allow commercial casinos in Virginia is approved. Interestingly, there are several states where lawmakers want to see these venues open. Each one is struggling financially and would benefit from the extra revenue obtained through the gambling industry.
For now, Richmond, Bristol, Danville, Portsmouth, and Norfolk have all qualified to open a casino.
Some of Virginia’s top lawmakers are still reviewing ways to regulate the new casino market. As of now, the Virginia Lottery is being tasked with monitoring these venues. Gaming revenue will be taxed at 27%.
Native American casinos may eventually be allowed here, as well. Recently, the Pamunkey Tribe has requested permission to operate a new casino in Norfolk and Richmond. These plans have not yet been approved.
It seems like commercial casinos in Virginia are on their way. Perhaps in time, every state in the country will allow traditional casino gambling. Stay tuned for more updates on this situation over the next few months!