The legalization of casino development and gambling is supported by the Virginia General Assembly in some areas across the state.
A bill which paved the way for establishing casinos in some areas in Virginia, passed the State General Assembly. The state’s top official, Governor Ralph Northam, previously said he would support the expansion of casinos if it were beneficial for Virginia.
The Substitute Senate Bill 1126 was passed by lawmakers last night. It authorizes the development of casinos in Bristol, Danville and Portsmouth. However, the approval will come only if the move is approved in citywide referenda.
Last night’s approval of the bill was the first major effort towards gambling expansion in Virginia’s Legislature recently.
This bill also authorizes referenda in Norfolk and Richmond. This came as an excellent piece of news for the Bristol businessmen as they had presented a plan last year to develop a $250 million casino resort in Bristol.
This bill needs to be signed by Gov. Northam. The piece has tasked the states Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission with conducting a thorough study on the social and economic impacts of establishing a casino. This study will have to be presented in the state by November 1, 2019.
The citywide referenda will only be able to take place when the bill is re-enacted during the General Assembly’s 2020 legislative session.
The Lottery Board will be charged with writing rules and regulations for the operation on casinos. This work will begin on January 1, 2020 and be presented on June 30, 2020. License for the casino will then be issued after July 1, 2020.
The citywide referenda will consequently, take place before January 1, 2021 in Danville, Bristol, Richmond, Norfolk and Portsmouth.
The Lottery Board will also have to establish a self-execution program which will enable individuals to exclude the states future casinos from gambling.
Casinos in Virginia will be taxed between 13% to 15% on their gaming. The exact rate will be determined on the basis of the licensed casinos annual adjusted gross revenue.