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Virginia pushes casino debate until 2020

The discussions to expand gaming in the state would be pushed for another year. Credits:

The bill that expands casinos and sports betting in the state will likely be kicked to 2020.

US.- Virginia’s Senate Finance Committee has agreed with the plan proposed by Majority Leader Tommy Norment to stop any referendums on casinos until a comprehensive study is done in the state. This would stop casino and sports betting expansion at least to 2020.

The amendment from Norment says that the bill that authorizes casinos in Portsmouth, Norfolk, Richmond, Bristol and Danville won’t go into effect unless the General Assembly considers and passes it again in 2020. Meanwhile, the Pamunkey Tribe can try to pursue federal approval that would pave the wat for a Norfolk casino despite the Assembly’s decision.

“The referendums on casino gaming are going to go ahead of regardless of what the results of any study are going to be, and it makes no sense to me for us to make a very significant policy decision and have a study that is just eyewash,” Norment said.

“We don’t intend to make everybody happy,” Norment said. “I’m not anti-gaming; I just think that the approach that has been offered can be improved in a more deliberate manner,” he said.

The bill also requires casino owners to spend at least US$100 million on their properties. Now it is headed to the full Senate floor for approval.

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