Senate Panel Approves Virginia Casino Bills

Senate Panel Approves Virginia Casino Bills

Lawmakers in Virginia continue to discuss adding new casinos to the state. However, Richmond seems to oppose them, while Petersburg wants one. The good news is that a Senate panel approved several Virginia casino bills last Wednesday. Also, it showed what lawmakers would do on the topic during the current legislative session.

After voters rejected casino referendums in 2021 and 2023, a bill that took a perfect 15-0 pass in the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee would permanently remove Richmond from the list of communities that might have casinos.

Also, it seems like the committee is on board with moving a potential central Virginia casino to Petersburg, as they swiftly passed a bill to include the more minor, economically suffering city south of Richmond on the acceptable cities list. Casino news reports state lawmakers passed a bill authorizing casinos in communities needing more funds, including Bristol, Danville, Portsmouth, and Norfolk, in 2020. Sen. Lashrecse Aird, a Democrat from Petersburg, stated that she believes her community fulfills all the requirements.

Proposed Virginia Casino Bills

Senate Panel Approves Virginia Casino BillsAlthough Northern Virginia was not first brought up in discussions about the state’s casino. This measure would begin possibly bringing a casino, conference center, and event venue to Tysons Corner in Fairfax County, which also passed its first hurdle in the Senate.

Legislator Dave Marsden (D-Fairfax), spearheading the effort to build a casino in his area, informed lawmakers that the pandemic-induced trend toward remote labor has reduced the area’s economic viability. As a result, much office space sits unoccupied, and companies are less likely to set up shop near the nation’s capital. A casino in Northern Virginia was proposed during last year’s session. However, the concept was shelved before it could be voted on. Thus, the best online casinos will have new competition soon.

Legislators in the Senate are worried that the planned casino in Northern Virginia lacks the significant public backing of such initiatives in the past. According to a Fairfax County representative who spoke before the Senate’s gaming panel, the county remains neutral on the measure to maintain its alternatives. Also, they need to consider 2024 casino trends.

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