Virginia lottery board approves casino regulations

July 22, 2021 GMT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Lottery Board has approved a set of proposed regulations to govern the state’s fledging casino gambling industry.

The proposed regulations now go to Gov. Ralph Northam for his sign-off, after which there will be a public comment period, leading up to final approval by the lottery board, the Virginia Lottery said in a news release Wednesday.

Virginia lawmakers opened the door to casino gambling last year, approving legislation to allow developers to build five large casinos around the state in what supporters promised would be a dramatic economic boost to struggling areas. Virginia was previously one of the few states in the country where casinos were banned.

“The Lottery’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,” Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall said in a statement Wednesday. “In this role, we see the Lottery as the public’s watchdog.”

Casino proposals are advancing in Bristol, Danville, Norfolk and Portsmouth after each of those cities approved the projects in referenda last November. A fifth casino has been proposed in Richmond and is expected to be on the ballot this November.