Lawmakers in Virginia have been discussing opening up the state’s casino industry for years. It seemed as if casinos were set to become legal earlier this year, yet certain state officials are still asking for revisions to the gambling legislation. This week, the state General Assembly is meeting to discuss Virginia’s new casino regulations.
If all goes according to plan, Class III casinos will be approved in this state before the summer. Today, we’re going to discuss the changes to gambling laws here. We’ll also look at what other forms of gambling may become available over the next couple of years.
Let’s get into it!
Virginia’s Governor is Asking for Changes to Proposed Casino Laws
More states are beginning to embrace their gambling industries. It seems like every few months, another state announces it’s becoming interested in legalizing casinos. This is certainly true in Virginia, which has been looking at the legalization of casinos for years.
As we already mentioned, it seemed like casinos would become legal here last year. Things failed to materialize, however, and another push to legalize casinos began in the beginning of this year. In February, news broke that the House and Senate approved a set of casino bills.
That didn’t mean casinos instantly became legal here. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam began taking a closer look at this legislation. Eventually, the Governor asked for an amendment to the casino bills that would allow revenue from these gambling venues to go towards public school construction.
It was a little disappointing for those hoping to see casinos legal this year. Northam’s decision now means the House and Senate will need to agree on the new terms. It’s unclear whether this will take place.
The fact that all US land-based casinos are shut down right now isn’t helping either. There are some analysts that feel the country’s casino industry will never look the same once this pandemic has ended.
This week, Virginia state officials will once again look at the casino legislation being presented.
Officials Are Now Set to Review Virginia’s New Casino Regulations
It’s clear that legalizing casinos is not easy. As many in Virginia now realize, there are several legal steps that need to be taken before these gambling venues can be approved. This includes gaining approval from the state’s General Assembly.
Once again, the House and Senate will need to review the new amendment presented by Governor Northam. These state government bodies will need to approve House Bill 4 and Senate Bill 36. If both bills are approved once again, casinos may finally become legal here.
Senator Todd Pillion gave an enthusiastic statement about this new meeting to the media yesterday.
“Fixing our deteriorating schools is an issue that unites legislators across political and geographical divides,” he said. “Republicans and Democrats from Lee County to Norfolk recognize this is an issue that needs our attention. The amendment, which I support, will allow a portion of state revenues collected from casino projects to be returned to localities to fix our schools, directly benefiting our students and teachers. I am hopeful this solution will have broad bipartisan support in both the Senate and House.”
It remains to be seen whether or not these bodies will decide to approve these bills. If they are rejected, the legislation will go back to the Governor. It would then be discussed again once again in November.
Are any other forms of gambling likely to be approved here?
Sports Betting is Likely to Become Legal in Virginia Soon
Since May of 2018, every state in the country has been able to legalize sports betting. That’s due to the Supreme Court striking down PASPA. Today, more than 20 states have officially legalized this form of gambling.
Lawmakers in Virginia have discussed plans to allow sports betting for years. It now appears 2020 is the year this happens. During today’s meeting to discuss Virginia’s new casino regulations, lawmakers will also decide on whether or not to approve sports gambling legislation.
Most feel this will happen. The main focus point will be on how much sports betting licenses cost. Under the current plans, it will cost $250,000 for a three-year license and an additional $200,000 to renew these licenses.
Most agree that sports betting will be hugely popular in this state. Virginia is known for its large sports fan base. Governor Northam seems to recognize this, and almost all analysts expect him to sign the sports gambling bills once approved by the House and Senate.
It’s an exciting time for gambling fans in Virginia. This year, two separate forms of gambling are likely to become legal here.
Do you think Virginia’s new casino regulations will be approved? Let us know in the comments section below!