For years, Virginia has been one of the few states in the country without any tribal or commercial casinos. Based on new reports, this is about to change. After receiving approval from the House of Delegates, Virginia’s casino industry may finally open up.
It’s extremely exciting news for gambling fans in this state. It’s very likely that five casinos will soon open here. Today, we’re going to take a look at how these new regulations finally came together.
Let’s get into it!
Lawmakers in Virginia Continue Pushing for More Gambling Options
Virginia is known for its tough laws towards the gambling industry. For decades, no land-based gambling venues have been able to operate in the state. It was unusual, as several nearby states had large and profitable gambling industries.
Many lawmakers called for these regulations to change. They tried to argue that these gambling venues would help to bring the state millions in additional revenue every year. Until very recently, however, these efforts have failed.
In 2019, another attempt to allow casinos in the state was made. This time, some major state politicians revealed they were interested. Many states around the country recently expanded their gambling markets and were earning serious revenue as a result.
Lawmakers in Virginia recognized the potential from this industry. Two bills to legalize commercial casinos were slowly making their way through the legislative process. In February, it seemed very likely that the bills would officially be approved.
This is a fantastic time to be a casino gambling fan in this state. Virginia’s casino industry is about to expand rapidly.
Virginia’s Casino Industry Gains Support From House
The push to allow casinos in Virginia has been raging for months. This week, the casino bill was unanimously approved by the House of Delegates. The body now joins the Senate, who approved the bills on Saturday.
This process wasn’t easy, though. The Senate and House argued over tax rates for the casino industry for months. Two separate bills needed to be approved here in order for casino gambling to get approved in the state.
The House approved Senate Bill 4 by a 59-35 margin. Later, they approved House Bill 4. Doing so now sends the bills to Governor Ralph Northam.
Hard Rock Bristol Resort and Casino group, one of the main proponents for casino gambling in the state, commented on the decision to the media this week.
“We are pleased that the General Assembly passed HB 4 and SB 36 and are excited about the potential it will bring,” the statement read. “This legislation allows for major economic development projects in Bristol, Danville, Portsmouth, Richmond and Norfolk and will bring thousands of new jobs and millions in additional tax revenue to Virginia. We want to particularly thank Del. Terry Kilgore and Sen. Todd Pillion and the entire Southwest Virginia delegation for their relentless support and hard work, and Senator Louise Lucas for her vision and commitment to make this legislation a reality.”
It now seems like just a matter of time before Virginia’s casino industry takes off. Analysts expect Governor Northam to approve the bills. Doing so would allow gambling venues to open in Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Richmond.
Sports Betting in VA is Still Being Considered
It’s great to see lawmakers in Virginia start to embrace the gambling industry. Soon, this state could have one of the top casino markets on the East Coast. Unfortunately, legal sports betting is still not available in this state.
Since PASPA was removed in May of 2018, every state in the country has been able to set its own laws on the sports betting industry. More than 20 now have legal, regulated sports gambling options up and running.
A few sports gambling bills have been presented here. Thus far, none have been able to make through the legislative session. Some predict that this industry will become legal here before the end of 2020.
It’s clear that the state is changing its stance towards gambling. Virginia’s casino industry is about to open up. Several other neighboring states are also considering allowing land-based casinos to begin operating.
Make sure to stay tuned for updates over the next few months!