In Virginia, gambling is not readily available. There are no casinos or poker rooms to be found. The state does offer lottery gaming and in the past has provided horse racing, but there are no longer any racing facilities open in the state. So, it was surprising to find that a senator of the state has now introduced legislation in regards to poker gaming. Last week, Senator Louise Lucas introduced a bill known as S 1400 in efforts to clearly define what is legal when considering gambling in the state.
The new gaming bill will regulate the game of poker, determining the game requires skill and is not a game of chance. If poker were to be classified as a game of skill, it would not be illegal in Virginia. The bill also includes a provision that would see the regulation of poker tournaments. However, these tournaments would only be allowed as long as they meet the regulations and conditions set forth by Lucas. The State Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services would be the group overseeing the organization of poker tournament gaming.
Lucas has tried several times in the past to see gambling legislation passed in her state, but has been unsuccessful. Reportedly, as many as ten bills have been introduced by the senator only to fall short of moving forward. This time, Lucas seems to be taking a light approach, simply opening the door to discussing gaming and how it is perceived by state law. This could be a step in the right direction to see poker become a reality in the state.