Virginia Governor Signs Senate Gambling Bill
The Virginia Governor has put his signature on an important piece of legislation, the gambling bill. A few days ago, Governor Ralph Northam signed a doorway senate gambling bill. The bill will allow casino operators to start a business in the Old Dominion. This bill, however, is not the be-all and end-all of casino gambling bills. All the Senate Bill 1126 (SB 1126) does is bring the fight for legal land-based casino closer to its goal.
Northam says he wants the casino legalisation to be his responsibility. He hopes to include keeping the gambling revenue within Virginia. Although, not everyone is happy about the signing of this bill. Some think the state will now be littered with casinos. However, this is not the case. Only certain cities will have casinos under strict regulations. Let us delve into what the senate bills spell for the state of Virginia.
How does the Senate Gambling Bill Affect Virginia?
As we had mentioned, the signing of the gambling bill does not mean casinos will be a dime-a-dozen in the state. The bill gives authorized cities rights to hold referendums. The referendums are on whether they want casinos in their cities or not. The referendum system will only take effect in late 2020. Virginia Lottery Board will kickstart the regulating of gambling operations as tasked. The board will also start with the referendum voting. The gambling bill mandates the board to conduct a study on how casinos will impact Virginia. After the conducting of the research, the Senate will decide on whether to go ahead with or repeal the bill.
How Many Casino Operators Will be Allowed in Virginia?
Virginia is one of the few states that is yet to legalize gambling. At present, the state has limited land-based gambling operations. The gambling options in Virginia include horse racing, lottery and charity gambling events. Currently, only five cities are allowed to have gambling operations. The cities include Portsmouth, Danville, Bristol, Richmond and Norfolk. Portsmouth, Danville, Bristol could stand to benefit from the economic boost. The local Virginia native Indian tribe, Pamunkey will run the casinos.
Overview of the Virginia Gambling Bill
The gambling bill has gone through several revisions in its run to the legislations. As it stands the bill includes detailed information on the provisions for casinos. This includes gaming policies, tax rates, market access and much more. The gambling bill does, however, mention web-based gambling and sports betting. Governor Northam stated that he support casinos. This is if they are beneficial to the state. This explains why the amendment of the bill includes detailed information. While the Virginia bill is vague. The legislation requires several enabling actions before the gambling expansion becomes reality.