Posted on: February 4, 2021, 11:39h.
Last updated on: February 4, 2021, 12:00h.
Virginia will be home to as many as five commercial casinos in the coming years. This week, regulations that will govern gambling were approved by state officials.
The Virginia Lottery Board, led by Executive Director Kevin Hall (pictured), has okayed rules and regulations that will oversee the state’s casinos. Four gaming properties are on the way. (Image: Zoom)Legislation passed last year that authorized casinos in economically distressed cities tasked the Virginia Lottery Board with the regulatory oversight of gaming. The lottery agency yesterday signed off on various regulations that will apply to casinos.The Lottery’s role as regulator is based on its three-decade track record as a respected and trusted gaming authority in the Commonwealth,” declared Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall. “The Lottery’s professional staff and our Board will work to protect the public interest by ensuring the integrity of casino gaming through the strict enforcement of the law and our regulations.”Along with casinos, sports betting was legalized in the 2020 gaming expansion package. Sports betting is already operational online. FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, BetRivers, and William Hill are all taking bets in time for this Sunday’s Super Bowl.Virginia Casino RegulationsThe Virginia Lottery Board approved a slew of casino bylaws during its meeting this week.Each of the four casinos, located in Norfolk, Portsmouth, Bristol, and Danville, will need to pay a one-time $15 million licensing fee to the state. The operating permit is good for 10 years. The gaming operators will additionally pay a $50,000 fee to the Virginia Lottery for it to conduct a principal background and investigation of key parties involved in the developments.Norfolk has partnered with the Pamunkey Indian Tribe and gaming industry billionaire Jon Yarbrough for its casino property. Rush Street Gaming won in Portsmouth, Hard Rock International in Bristol, and Caesars Entertainment in Danville.The casinos floors will not be permitted to extend credit to gamblers. All wagers must be conducted only with tokens, chips, or electronic cards purchased from the casino.Only people aged 21 and over are allowed entry into a casino. Each venue must develop and advertise a responsible gambling program.Gross gaming revenue will be taxed on a graduated scale ranging from 18-30 percent, based on total casino win. All tax revenue will be directed to the Gaming Proceeds Fund.The vast majority of the proceeds will be allocated for localities in which the casinos operate. Additionally, one percent is set aside for the Virginia Indigenous People’s Trust Fund, 0.8 percent to the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund, and 0.2 percent to the Family and Children’s Trust Fund.Security, Slot and Table RegulationsThe casino regulations require each venue to have at least 1,000 square feet of office space adjacent to the gaming floor that is to be used for security and surveillance.Slot machines must have an average payout percentage of 89 to 94 percent. Wagers on slots can range from a penny to $500 per spin. Table game bets can range from $5 to $50,000.Along with the four approved casinos, voters in Richmond will decide whether they, too, want a casino in the capital city. Richmond is the fifth and final qualifying city for a casino under the 2020 gaming bill.