The Virginia Senate has approved the sports betting that would legalise sports betting in the state. The bill would also permit land-based casinos to open for the first time in the state.
Democrat Senator Louise Lucas introduced bill, SB 1126, that was passed by the Senate by a vote of 28-12.
The bill will now be forwarded to the Committee on Rules for further discussion.
SB 1126 set out plans to legalise casino gaming in the state, with casinos to be restricted to cities that have an unemployment rate of at least 4 per cent, a poverty rate of 20 per cent, and which had experienced a population decline of at least 7 per cent between 1990 and 2016.
Each city would be able to issue one casino licence, with a tribal casino permitted in cities with a population of at least 200,000, and in which 24 per cent of all real estate are exempt from local property taxes. In order to open a casino, each local authority would need to secure approval from residents via a local referendum.