The four-member Virginia Lottery Board has reportedly approved a wide-ranging set of proposed rules that have been designed to regulate how the southern state’s soon-to-premiere collection of five commercial land-based casinos are to be run.
According to a report from the Associated Press news service, the consent from the Virginia regulator means that the envisioned regulations are to now be sent for the required approval of Governor Ralph Northam (pictured) before being subjected to a 60-day public comment period. The source also detailed that the decrees will then be formally placed into the rulebooks should this obligatory process result in no major stumbling blocks.
Home to approximately 8.6 million people, Virginia was previously one of the few remaining American states where casino gambling was outlawed. However, the news service reported that all of this changed last November when the electorate approved a constitutional amendment that gave five disparate communities subject to local plebiscites the right to build and run large gambling-friendly premises offering slots as well as a plethora of table games including poker.
Kevin Hall serves as the Executive Director for the Virginia Lottery Board and he reportedly used a Wednesday press release to disclose that the recently-passed casino regulations build on initial emergency rules approved in February. He purportedly went on to explain that his body moreover intends to judge the coming applicants for every one of the state’s five land-based gaming licenses using a stern set of criteria following the completion of associated criminal background checks and financial assessments.
Reportedly read a statement from Hall…
“The Virginia Lottery Board’s Gaming Compliance Department and Office of General Counsel have been diligently working to set up the regulatory and licensing framework to ensure casino gaming in Virginia is secure and transparent. In this role, we see the Virginia Lottery Board as the public’s watchdog.”
The Associated Press reported that the Virginia communities of Danville, Portsmouth, Norfolk and Bristol are advancing their plans to each host one of the coming casinos while the city of Richmond recently picked the One Casino and Resort proposition from a subsidiary of local radio broadcasting group Urban One. Subject to local voter approval in November and this latter $600 million project is purportedly destined to feature a 90,000 sq ft gaming floor as well as a 3,000-seat entertainments venue and an adjacent 250-room hotel.
Should everything go to plan and experts reportedly believe that the first of Virginia’s five casinos could begin welcoming punters by as early as 2025. Once fully up and running and the state purportedly earlier estimated that the gambling-friendly venues could bring in as much as $262 million in aggregated annual tax revenues while attracting millions of new tourists to ‘The Old Dominion State.’