The Virginia Lottery Board has officially approved regulations for emergency casinos, a necessary move that takes the development of four land-based establishments one step closer across the country.
Before being presented to Governor Ralph Northam, the 2020 casino legislation mandated the implementation of an initial regulatory structure by April 2021, requiring rubber stamping.
Land based casinos
The regulations extend to proposed land-based casinos in Bristol, Danville, Norfolk and Portsmouth, which were supported in local referendums in the November 2020 elections by voters in those localities.
Hard Rock International, Caesars Entertainment, Pamunkey Indian Tribe, and Rush Street Gaming, respectively, will be operating partners in these projects.
In the city of Richmond a fifth casino establishment is suggested and a public vote is pending in November 2021.
Three forms of licenses
The Lottery Board says it will issue three forms of licenses, which are a facility operator license, a ten-year $15 million fee issuance, a supplier permit, and a service permit, each with an investigation fee of $50,000.
Casinos can not offer credit to players, and only tickets, chips, or electronic cards obtained from the facility operator may be used for wagers.
In areas where casino games are located, no one under the age of 21 will be permitted, with a voluntary self-exclusion list, mandatory exclusion list, and a responsible gaming plan to be created.
Thorough review of casino operators
The Lottery will perform a thorough review of casino operators, including criminal records and financial reviews of designated gaming operators, when applications for casino operating licenses are submitted. Robust internal controls and on-site security and monitoring standards are also defined by regulatory requirements.
Kevin Hall, executive director of the Virginia Lottery said: “The Lottery’s role as regulator is based on its three-decade track record as a respected and trusted gaming authority in the Commonwealth.
“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.”
The 60-day public consultation period starts after the Governor approves the new permanent rule. The final regulations hopefully come into force on or before 7 October 2022.