In a historic development, Virginia’s state General Assembly has passes the casino legalisation bill. The bill will now move to Governor Ralph Northam’s desk. The governor is expected to support casino legalisation. After which there will be city-wise referenda. In other words, casino legalisation is imminent in Virginia.
State House and Senate lawmakers okayed Substitute Senate Bill 1126. The bill proposes casinos in the cities of Bristol, Danville, and Portsmouth, following clearance from citywide referenda. This means that residents will have the final say on whether any of the three cities should host a gambling venue.
The approval of the casino legalisation bill was the first major gambling expansion effort to successfully survive through Virginia’s Legislature in recent years. State lawmakers have traditionally been opposed to all forms of gambling.
Bill 1126, which was nearly identical to a legislation introduced by Senators Bill Carrico and Louise Lucas earlier this year, also proposes referenda in Richmond and Norfolk, which the Pamunkey Indian Tribe has identified as the potential hosts of a tribal casino.
The casino bill’s approval came as an excellent piece of news for a group of Bristol businessmen, who presented last September a plan to develop a $250 million casino resort at the vacant site of Bristol Mall.