Virginia on the verge of allowing gambling

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Virginia, one of the handful of US states that do not allow casinos and other forms of gambling, is on the verge of legalising casino gaming, online gambling and sports betting. The gaming expansion bill is waiting for the approval of Governor Ralph Northam. Once the governor signs it, the bill becomes law and gambling becomes a reality.

The legislation, SB 1126, authorises the Virginia Lottery Board to approve a casino license per city in the state, if the city meets certain criteria. The criteria include at least 40 per cent of the land area has to be exempt from local real property taxation. Or 24 per cent if an Indian tribe of the state is conducting gaming.

The city must also have an unemployment rate of 5 per cent in November 2017 or at 4 per cent if located next to a stat has Border Region Retail Tourism Development District Act. The population must also be larger than 200,000 based on estimates from 2017.

Any casino in the state must also provide the local community with support. On top of the stated criteria, a proposal for a casino must pass via a local referendum that is adopted before 1 January 2021.