Virginia is currently one of ten states without either commercial or tribal casinos.
In March 2019 a new casino gamiong law was passed by the state general assembly and signed by the governor giving voters an opportunity in 2020 to approve or dissapprove a casino in their city.
Five cities are identified as candidates for casinos: Bristol, Danville, Portsmouth, Richmond and Norfolk. See Proposed Casino Plans.
This law defines casino gaming in Virginia as follows:
"... means baccarat, blackjack, twenty-one, poker, craps, dice, slot machines, sports betting, roulette wheels, Klondike tables, punchboards, faro layouts, keno layouts, numbers tickets, push cards, jar tickets, pull tabs, online gaming, and any other activity that is authorized by the Board as a wagering game or device under Chapter 41 (§ 58.1-4100 et seq.).
The Virginia casino gaming bill authorizes the Lottery Board to regulate casino gaming. By December 1, 2019 the board will receive a study of gaming laws in other states prepared by a joint commission of the legislature.
Referendum votes will be scheduled after the Lottery Board receives the study and before January 1, 2021.
The first casino licenses will be issued as soon as July 1, 2020.
Virginia is considering legislation which would allow casino gambling in five cities: Danville, Bristol, Portsmouth, Norfolk and Richmond.
PAMUNKEY CASINO AND HOTEL
Norfolk or Richmond, Virginia
The Pamunkey Tribe is proposing a $700M casino and hotel be built on the Norfolk waterfront next to the minor league baseball stadium. The Richmond area is also under consideration.
BRISTOL RESORT CASINO
The $150M casino proposal would build a 90,000-square-foot casino with a 600-1000 room hotel and a large family entertainment area.
The Danville City Council members voted unanimously Jan 3 to support the state legislators effort to allow casino gambling in Danville.
The Portsmouth casino would be built on the Elizabeth River near the marina on property once occupied by a Holiday Inn.
It is a 2-3 year process for these casinos to become reality. If the legislation is passed by the General Assembly, it must be signed by the Governor and voted upon by the residents of each city. The construction would take 12-18 months, but then these casinos could celebrate their grand openings.
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March 26, 2019
Governor Ralph Northam signed Senate Bill 1126 into law Friday in an essential step toward authorizing casino gambling in Virginia. The bill had passed the Senate 30-10 and the House 64-33.
The new law is not the final authorization needed to build casinos. The final authorization can only be granted by voters in a November 2020 referendum ballot.
There are additional steps defined between now and the referendum that will be the responsibility of the Lottery Board. This law authorizes the Lottery Board to regulate all casino gaming and provides a framework for the Board to follow in drafting its policies, rules and procedures.
SB 1126 SUMMARY: "Lottery Board; regulation of casino gaming, penalties"
Casino gaming will be regulated by the Virginia Lottery Board.
Casino gaming will only operate in five cities: Bristol, Danville, Portsmouth, Richmond and Norfolk.
City residents must approve the casino by referendum.
The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) will research casino gaming laws in other states and submit a report before December 1, 2019.
Referenda must be held after the JLARC report and before January 1, 2021.
After the Lottery Board drafts its gaming regulations, the 2020 Session of the General Assembly must re-enact the bill.
The Lottery Board cannot issue casino licenses prior to July 1, 2020.
Casino Gaming, Sports Betting and Online Gambling
This law specifies the following definition of casino gaming, which implies the legalization of sports betting and online gambling.
"Casino gaming" means baccarat, blackjack, twenty-one, poker, craps, dice, slot machines, sports betting, roulette wheels, Klondike tables, punchboards, faro layouts, keno layouts, numbers tickets, push cards, jar tickets, pull tabs, online gaming, and any other activity that is authorized by the Board as a wagering game or device under Chapter 41 (§ 58.1-4100 et seq.).
February 24, 2019
The General Assembly voted today to legalize casino gambling in Virginia and grant regulation authority to the Virginia Lottery Board.
The bill passed the Senate 30-10 and the House 64-33. To become law it requires the signature of the governor and a voter referendum to authorize an amendment to the state constitution.
Under the provisions of the bill the Virginia Lottery Board would develop rules and regulations for casino gambling and procedures for licensing casino applicants. The regulations must be completed and approved before June 30, 2020. Casino licenses will be issued after July 1, 2020.
The bill specifies five cities where casinos can be built: Bristol, Danville, Portsmouth and either Norfolk or Richmond. Residents must vote to approve or disapprove the casino planned for their city. Referenda must be passed before Jan. 1, 2021.
The state would tax each casino 13 to 15 percent of the annual adjusted gross revenue.Back
January 29, 2019
The Pamunkey Indian Tribe is proposing to build a $750 casino and hotel along the Elizabeth River in the City of Norfolk. Last night the city council cast a unanimous vote to support the project.
The Norfolk City Council passed a resolution asking the General Assembly to proceed with legislation that would lead to state-licensing of the Pamunkey casino as an alternative to the lengthy federal Indian gaming process.
The General Assembly is woking on a bill to authorize and regulate casino gambling. It will require an election referendum on the November ballot for Norfolk residents to agree or reject the Pamunkey casino.Back
Danville, Bristol, Portsmouth, Norfolk and Richmond Selected for Casinos
January 21, 2019
The Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology voted 9-3-1 to pass Senate Bill 1126, the first major step taken to legalize casinos in Virginia.
The bill allows five cities to hold referendums this fall to determine whether voter approve or disapprove of casino projects in their cities. The five cities are Danville, Bristol, Portsmouth, Norfolk and Richmond. Casino licenses would be issued beginning July 1, 2020.
The Pamunkey Indian Tribe can apply for a federally approved casino but has announced its interest in pursuing a commercial casino license with the state. "... we believe that if the Commonwealth is ready to authorize gaming, our project should be part of it," said Robert Gray, Pamunkey Indian Tribe Chief. Possible sites for the Pamunkey casino are Norfolk and Richmond.
Under the term of the Bill, the state would receive 10% of gross revenues from each licensed casino. Half would go to cities where casinos are located and the remainder would stay with the state for public school construction and the general fund.Back
October 05, 2018
On Wednesday a celebration was held by members of seven Virginia Indian tribes over the federal government granting formal recognition.
Representatives and officials from the Nation Park Service, Virginia governor's office, senate offices, and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman were in attendance.
The federal recognition allows the tribes to apply for federal services and funding.
For decades these tribes have attempted to obtain their federal recognition. They include the Chickahominy, Chickahominy Eastern Division, Rappahannock, Pamunkey, Nansemond, Upper Mattaponi, and the Monacan tribes.
The first Virginia tribe to receive federal recognition was the Pamunkey Tribe in January 2016. The tribe has plans to develop a $700 million casino on land approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.Back
A politician from Virginia is pushing for a Portsmouth casino
August 26, 2012
A bill has been submitted by Sen. Louise Lucas. It will be available for the next session of the General Assembly. The decision behind the new gaming bill was related to a visit to Maryland. The senator was impressed by the success of their two month old casino. Maryland earns 67 percent of the gaming revenue.
Portsmouth is the proposed area for the new casino. She believes that area would help retain casino goers from going to another state to gamble.
Currently the state is having a difficult time finding ways to raise funds for the various programs. Residents of the state are against highway tolls and raising taxes. Lucas believes that casino gaming may be a solution to help pay for education and infrastructure.Back
August 26, 2012 A politician from Virginia is pushing for a Portsmouth casino