Virginia’s Senate Finance Committee has approved the proposal of Majority Leader Tommy Norment of not to conduct any referendums on till 2020. A comprehensive study on the impact of casinos in the state will completed by that time.
Norment had proposed that the bill that authorises casinos in Portsmouth, Norfolk, Richmond, Bristol and Danville would not come into effect unless the General Assembly considers and passes it again in 2020. Meanwhile, the Pamunkey Tribe can try to pursue federal approval that would pave the way for a Norfolk casino despite the Assembly’s decision.
“The referendums on casino gaming are going to go ahead of regardless of what the results of any study are going to be, and it makes no sense to me for us to make a very significant policy decision and have a study that is just eyewash,” Norment said.
“We don’t intend to make everybody happy,” Norment said. “I’m not anti-gaming; I just think that the approach that has been offered can be improved in a more deliberate manner,” he said.
The bill also requires casino owners to spend at least US$100 million on their properties. Now it is headed to the full Senate floor for approval.