Virginia Senator Files Casino Gaming Bill

Louise Lucas is a Senator in the state of Virginia who would like to see the state become involved in the gambling industry. Virginia is one of only ten states that do not have a casino within its borders. Lucas has now filed a casino gaming bill to be considered during the 2014 General Assembly.

The new bill is titled Senate Bill 19 and would allow the creation of a state Casino Gaming Commission and create guidelines for licensing in the state for casino game play. In the past, Lucas has created bills for casino creation and was unsupported. Now that Maryland has expanded their gaming options and players from Virginia will be taking money out of state, Lucas is hoping to gain more support.

The legislation states that ninety percent of the gaming tax revenues would go to help with the cost of toll roads in Virginia. In estimations, it was believed that $113 million could be brought in with almost 2,000 jobs created. However, Lucas is in for a fight. It seems as though most are not ready to enter the casino side of gambling, although the state already has charity gaming, lottery and pari-mutuels.

William Howell is the House Speaker for Virginia and he recently spoke with the Washington Post and commented that he believes the negative human impact outweighs the potential impact of the economy. Howell further stated that he does not believe the casinos are the right thing for the commonwealth.

Without the addition of casinos, Virginia would continue to be one of a select few that does not offer this type of recreational entertainment. And with states nearby that offer the option, Virginia is sure to miss out on revenues. It will be interesting to see if the Senator will be able to receive backing to bring this type of gambling to the state.