Rep. Barry Knight has submitted legislative bill HB 4 in Virginia Assembly. The bill will be a companion of Senate Bill 1126, which allows policymakers to examine other states which have gambling regulations and analyze the economic benefit of expanded gambling in Virginia.
The bill will also cover the issue of sports betting in the State, which had prohibited traditional gambling. The lawmakers in the State are gaining momentum at revisiting the policy. Policymakers are expected to take up the matter early next year when they resume the session.
According to Casino.org, any bill has to be approved by residents of the cities and towns where gaming is to be introduced. If the legislators support the bill in the coming session, then Virginia residents will have the opportunity of voting in November 2020.
Early this year, Virginia Governor approved the establishment of casinos in Norfolk, Danville, Bristol, Portsmouth, and Richmond. At the moment, Virginia has no commercial or tribal gaming venues.
Facing Some Resistance
City officials in Norfolk signed the sale of land to the Pamunkey Indian tribe in anticipation of building a casino at the venue. However, a group by name “Say No to the Norfolk Casino” opposed the move and sought for revocation of the decision.
Virginia Pamunkey tribe believes that Norfolk casino could generate revenue of $825 million annually and promise to pay $33 million to the city. Norfolk casino calls for a venue with 3,500 gaming machines and 225 table games. One city official estimated that 750 slots machines and 25 table games could bring revenue of $5 million to the city. However, Norfolk suitability is still unproven; the city isn’t close enough to DC to lure gamblers. Thus a casino will depend on local gamblers and tourists.
Virginia Sports Betting Landscape
So far, most of Virginia neighboring states have approved sports betting. Kentucky and Maryland are the only states yet to initiate sports betting legislations.