Governor Northam Amends Virginia’s Casino Legislation

For years, lawmakers in Virginia have been pushing to expand the state’s gambling industry. The legalization of casinos, they argue, would help to bring the state millions in additional revenue every single year. Unfortunately, Governor Northam has amended Virginia’s casino legislation and it’s unclear when casinos will be able to operate here.

Virginia Sign

It’s disappointing news for gambling fans in this state. Today, we’re going to discuss when casinos may finally be able to operate here. We’ll also look at how other state’s casino industries are faring right now.

Let’s get into it!

Virginia’s Road to Casino Legalization

Virginia is one of the few states in the country that does not currently allow casino gambling. It wasn’t always this way, though. Many decades ago, this state had a large and successful gambling industry. Today, however, almost no legal forms of wagering are allowed here.

The first attempts to legalize casinos here appeared in the mid-90s. None of these early attempts made it to the Senate. That hasn’t stopped proponents of this industry from trying, though.

Recently, another major push to allow casinos has been taking place. This time, it appears things may actually be successful. Two different bills are being considered here to officially allow casinos in five different cities.

In February, news broke that lawmakers had advanced these bills. Several anti-gambling groups began voicing their concerns, claiming it would lead to higher rates of crime and gambling addiction. Despite these claims, state leaders seemed to be embracing the land-based casino industry.

Things are being delayed once again. News is now coming out that the Governor is amending the policy to allow casinos to start operating. Here’s what we know about this situation.

Governor Decides to Amend Virginia’s Casino Legislation

Allowing land-based casinos to operate in Virginia was never going to be easy. Completely new laws had to be introduced. This week, Governor Ralph Northam decided to delay things a little bit to ensure the money earned from legal casinos goes to the right place.

Governor Northam is now proposing an amendment that would use casino revenue to fund public school construction. Carter Hutchinson, deputy policy advisor for the Governor, recently spoke about the situation to the media.

“The governor is going to amend that provision of the bill that says roughly two-thirds of the [tax] revenue goes to the general fund,” he said. “He is going to amend that language to designate the funding go to school construction, renovation and repairs. The language is going to be relatively broad given the revenue from the casinos won’t start coming in for at least a couple years, probably more.”

Lawmakers in Virginia will meet once again on April 22nd to further discuss Virginia’s casino legislation. At this time, a decision will be made on whether or not to officially approve the new bills.

A 2019 study concluded that legalized casinos could bring Virginia $900 million within five years. A casino in Bristol could bring the state $15 million annually.

We’ll need to wait and see how things go later this month.

US Casino Industry Remains Shut Down

It’s an unusual time for Virginia to consider allowing land-based casinos. As most are well-aware, almost all land-based casinos in the state are completely shut down due to Covid-19. It’s unclear when this will change.

It’s a difficult situation. Health experts believe that casinos pose a serious risk for infection spread. Because of this, some feel it may be months before any land-based gaming venues are able to open again.

The casino shutdown has been seriously damaging for several states. Nevada, in particular, is losing out on an enormous amount of revenue right now. Several major casino operators in Las Vegas are losing millions of dollars every single day due to these regulations.

Atlantic City is beginning to suffer, as well. A recent report claims the city may begin losing $500 million every month. Unless things change, it will be extremely difficult for many casino companies to continue operations here.

Virginia’s casino legislation may soon be approved. It will be interesting to see how the new coronavirus affects these plans.

Stay tuned for more Virginia casino news over the next few weeks!

Bristol VA’s Casino Plans Are Coming Together

Virginia has been preparing to allow casino gambling for years. Recently, cities here have begun discussing plans on how to collect the revenue from these gambling venues. Officials have now agreed to Bristol VA’s casino plans.

Casino Floor Picture

This casino will be unique for a number of reasons. Today, we’re going to talk about what separates the Bristol casino from some of the others in the state. We’ll also discuss when this state’s casino industry will get up and running.

Let’s get into it!

Virginia Seems Poised to Legalize Commercial Casinos

Gambling laws are changing throughout the country. It seems like every single month, a new state decides to allow casinos or sports betting. Some felt that Virginia would never decide to allow traditional casinos to operate.

This was due to the harsh laws towards gambling here. For decades, lawmakers in Virginia prohibited almost all forms of gambling. Only recently has this begun to change.

Some feel that the removal of PASPA helped to change the state’s laws. After PASPA was removed, a huge number of states began allowing sports betting and are now earning millions of dollars a month by taxing this industry.

Certain officials have been pushing to legalize casinos in Virginia for years. Last month, a bill to allow tribal and commercial casinos in the state made its way through the Senate General Laws and Technology Subcommittee. It’s now being reviewed by the Senate and House.

Most feel that the state will approve these regulations before the end of the year. Some even think these bills are given the green light within the next few weeks. Many cities are already coming up with preparations to collect revenue from these venues.

Bristol VA’s Casino Plans Are Now Being Discussed

It’s not easy to have casino regulations approved in a new state. Different parts of every state need to get on board with the plans. Under Virginia’s casino bill currently being reviewed, Bristol is the only city in the state that’s required to share its casino revenue with neighboring counties.

These plans, overseen by the Regional Improvement Commission, calls for the money earned from this casino to be shared. It’s interesting to see, as the casino in Bristol is expected to be the lowest-earning gaming venue in the state.

Randy Eads, City Manager for Bristol, commented on the way this casino will help to benefit the state.

“I think from the outset, everybody recognized that this project would benefit not just the city of Bristol but benefit the entire region,” he said. “Southwest Virginia as a region needs a financial infusion, and this is one way to allow everybody to benefit from this economic development project at the Bristol Mall.”

Bristol VA’s casino plans are expected to bring the state $35 million in annual taxes every single year. This is based on the 17% tax rate that’s being proposed. Of course, several issues surrounding tax rates have already popped up.

The House and Senate disagree with how much these casinos should pay in taxes. Hope is that this issue is resolved this week.

Virginia’s House and Senate Continue to Debate Casino Tax Rates

By mid-February, it seemed as if the state was just about to formally approve casinos to start opening. Cities had agreed to a set of regulations. Even Bristol VA’s casino plans were agreed to, despite the fact that it lessens the amount of money this city will earn.

Unfortunately, the Senate and House have failed to come to an agreement over tax rates. For that reason, Virginia’s Senate officially rejected the proposed bills. The House and Senate are now trying to find an agreeable middle ground.

A conference committee in Virginia is scheduled to meet on March 7th. Hope is that this committee can resolve these issues. Most agree that legalized casinos will help to bring the state millions in additional revenue every single year.

As of now, sports betting is still not being discussed in this state. That’s likely to change in time. Several nearby states now allow sports gambling and are profiting massively.

Bristol VA’s casino plans have been approved. Now, the House and Senate need to come to an agreement. Stay tuned for more Virginia casino news over the next few weeks!

New Jersey Casino Bills Are Still Being Discussed

New Jersey, and Atlantic City, in particular, is home to a large and successful casino industry. Years ago, lawmakers presented plans to allow more gambling venues to open in the state. Recently, state officials have begun looking at several New Jersey casino bills once again.New Jersey

Some feel that adding new casinos will help to bring the state significantly more revenue. Others worry about the impact it will have on Atlantic City. Let’s take a look at what exactly may be changing here.

Coronavirus Has Officially Hit New Jersey

There are many different gambling venues in New Jersey. Most consider this state the second-largest gambling hub in the country. Today, news broke that two cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed here.

It’s unclear exactly how many people in the US have already been infected with this virus. Estimates list it at around 200. Most feel the true number is significantly higher.

New York has already recorded several cases of the coronavirus. New Jersey now has several of its own. The second was confirmed to be a patient in his 30s. It’s unclear whether or not he managed to spread the virus to others.

Some worry about this virus hitting Atlantic City. Here, thousands of people are crammed inside massive casinos. These gambling venues are ideal places for the virus to spread from person to person.

This virus has the potential to significantly damage a state’s casino industry. Several major Las Vegas casino companies are already seeing their stock prices fall after reports of a coronavirus infection in Clark County. We’ll be monitoring the situation in New Jersey and reporting on how quickly it spreads.

Lawmakers Take Another Look at New Jersey Casino Bills

Back in 2016, several New Jersey politicians presented a bill that would allow for new gambling venues to be constructed outside of Atlantic City. The plan was to allow casinos in the suburbs near the border with New York. Some felt it would help to draw in most tourists.

Interestingly, lawmakers unanimously voted to reject these plans. Many felt this would take away from the revenue that Atlantic City earns. AC relies heavily on its gambling industry for money.

In January, another set of New Jersey casino bills was introduced that once again calls for the legalization of casinos outside of Atlantic City. Lawmakers are looking at this bill and feel it may be a way to prepare in case Atlantic City suffers some type of breakdown.

Ralph Caputo, a former casino executive in New Jersey, spoke about the bills to the media this week.

“We want to see Atlantic City succeed,” he said. “These bills are in case Atlantic City gets into trouble. The signal it sends is that we’re watching carefully to see if we need to act on this. But not at this time; I want to make that clear.”

The Casino Association of New Jersey still opposes these plans. It remains to be seen whether or not the plans will be approved.

Esports Betting Starts to Take Off in New Jersey

The popularity of Esports betting has taken off in recent years. This is especially true with younger people who enjoy watching video game streams through platforms like Twitch. Recently, lawmakers in New Jersey presented plans to start regulating Esports gambling.

This has been a long time coming. Many have asked state officials to present bills to allow Esports wagering, arguing that the revenue it earns the state would be massive. Now, this form of sports betting will be allowed during tournaments not involving minors.

The aforementioned Ralph Caputo commented on this decision, as well.

“This is the next big thing in gaming,” he said. “We want to be ahead of the curve on this. The millennial generation is into this in a major way.”

Esports betting is expected to be a massive success here. Soon, sportsbooks across the state will start offering odds on this new industry. We’ll get revenue reports on this industry soon.

The New Jersey casino bills are still being discussed by lawmakers. We’ll get a better idea as to how the state views these plans over the next few months.

It’s an interesting time in the state’s gambling industry. Stay tuned for updates over the next few months!