Virginia Lawmakers Approve Amendments to Casino and Sports Betting Proposal

Virginia Lawmakers Approve Amendments to Casino and Sports Betting Proposal

The Virginia House of Delegates and the state Senate approved multiple amendments to a proposed casino and sports betting legislation. The amendments were made by Governor Ralph Northam during the last minute.

Mobile sports betting will be legal

As the lawmakers from both chambers have approved the amendments made by Gov. Northam, the sports betting bill will finally see the light of the day. The original legislation reached Northam’s desk last month but he was not happy with the bill and added multiple amendments. It included clauses that would ensure a big chunk of gambling tax revenue going to funding education, a hike in gambling fees, and the inclusion of the state’s two NASCAR racetracks as possible venues for offering mobile sports betting offerings.

Virginia Lawmakers Approve Amendments to Casino and Sports Betting Proposal

According to the new amendments, casinos will be required to 18% tax on the first $200 million they earn in annual gaming revenue. Between $200 million to $400 million, they pay 23% tax. The rate increases to flat 30% after $400 million in revenue. Their sports betting revenue will be taxed at 15%.

Will Northam sign the bill?

Now that the lawmakers have accepted the amendments made by the governor, there is no reason for him to reject the bill. As soon as this is done, residents of five cities where new casinos are proposed will be allowed to vote in favor of or against building gambling establishments in the city. It would happen during a public referendum in November.

Three of the five cities have already signed deals with casino operators while the rest are still considering their options.

Virginia’s case is special in the US context because the state is yet to make any ripples in the casino industry. It only has a state lottery which is struggling because of the coronavirus pandemic. Kevin Hall, the Virginia Lottery Board’s executive director said last week that sales had declined significantly because of the public health emergency and the economic instability following it.

With the bill coming to force, the state will kick start its gambling industry and divert funds towards helping the public education system.

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.