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.
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!