For months, lawmakers in Virginia have pushed to have casino gambling legalized in the state. Legislation continued to advance, and many believed it was just a matter of time before casinos became legal. Unfortunately, Virginia’s new casino bill was rejected in the Senate.
It’s a huge blow for proponents of gambling in this state. Many have argued that regulated casinos will help to bring the state millions of dollars every single year via taxes. Today, we’re going to discuss why this bill was rejected.
Let’s get into it!
The Road to Legal Casinos in Virginia
Virginia isn’t known as a very gambling-friendly state. In fact, very few forms of gambling are actually legal here. In 2013, several politicians in the state began presenting legislation to legalize riverboat casinos.
These bills were eventually struck down. Afterward, it seemed as if regulated casinos would never begin operating in this state. Recently, lawmakers in Virginia have once again begun pushing to legalize land-based casinos.
Last year, another bill was presented in the state to legalize these gambling venues. By November, Virginia’s new casino bill was approved by a Senate Subcommittee. This bill allows for commercial casinos to begin operating in several different cities.
After the approval in November, it seemed as if legal casinos would be finally allowed to operate in the state. Several of the state’s top politicians were praising the details of this new bill. Then, out of the blue, this casino bill was rejected in the Senate.
It’s extremely disappointing news. Some felt that Virginia had the potential to become a major gambling hub on the East Coast. Here’s what we know about this situation so far.
Virginia’s New Casino Bill Has Been Rejected in the Senate
If approved, the bill presented in the state would have allowed for several commercial casinos to open. According to new reports, this bill has been rejected in the Senate. We’re now hearing reports of why this is.
According to the Washington Examiner, the Senate and House could not agree on tax rates for these casinos. The House is said to want a lower tax rate than the Senate.
The House claims that it wants a tax rate between 15 and 28 percent of the revenue casinos obtain. The Senate wants these gambling venues to be taxed between 27 and 40 percent of their revenue. Disputes over the cost of a casino license are also taking place.
Members of the House argue that a casino license should cost $5 million. The House believes that a license should cost $15 million. It’s clear that these two chambers have some discussions that need to take place.
The Senate has officially rejected Virginia’s new casino bill introduced by the House. Now, the bill will need to be redrafted in order to fit both chamber’s needs.
Casino May Still Be Legalized in Virginia This Year
It might seem as if the push to legalize casinos in Virginia is now over. That’s not necessarily the case, though. Over the next few months, members of the House and Senate will need to negotiate the terms of this new bill.
Both chambers claim they want to see casinos legalized in the state. Lawmakers here recognize the potential to earn revenue from this industry.
Several lawmakers in Virginia are also working to legalize sports betting. Not long after PASPA was struck down, a study was conducted on how legal sports betting would impact the state. For the past two years, sports betting advocates have tried to convince state politicians to approve legislation for the industry.
Most agree that casinos will be approved to operate in Virginia before the end of the year. Several cities here have already expressed a desire to allow casinos. Virginia’s new casino bill came to a halt in the Senate, yet another is likely to be presented before the summer.
There’s a lot happening here. Stay tuned for more updates on Virginia’s gambling industry over the next few months!