Legal Casino and Sports Betting Given a Go-Ahead in Virginia

4 May 2020

Sports and sports betting have officially been signed off by the Governor of Virginia to effectively become law starting July. Lawmakers of the Old Dominion voted in three different laws, including the recommended amendments that had been tabled by Governor’s Ralph Northam.

One of the bills, House Bill 4, now awaits the voting stage set for November 3rd where voters will decide on its final approval or not. If it’s approved by the voters, five cities in Virginia namely Bristol, Richmond, Danville, Portsmouth, and Norfolk are set to establish a land-based casino each. However, residents in each of these cities will still have to approve the casinos first through a public vote.

House Bill 896 and Senate Bill 384, on the other hand, were approved after a few recommendations from the governorб including imposing a $1,200 tax on slot machines per month, targeted to bring in a $150 million kitty by 2021 for crisis management, financing of public-school construction and repair of infrastructure all over the state.

The governor had also recommended changes in collegiate sports betting. The bills gained a 30 to 9 vote from state senate members during a general assembly proceeding that was held in the Virginia Science Museum.

To complete the approval process, the 100 House of Delegates members met at the Capitol Square compound and voted 66-29 to okay the companion House Bill 4. They also later approved the SB 384 by a 64-29 edge. Governor Northam’s amendments to legalize casino and sports betting had received a 64-30 vote margin in the house and 27-13 in the senate. Skill games were also voted in 77-11 by the House to remain operational till 2021 with the Senate debating and approving the same with 32-8 votes cast.

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