State House and Senate lawmakers gave green light to Substitute Senate Bill 1126. The bill proposes casinos in the cities of Bristol, Danville, and Portsmouth, following clearance from citywide referenda. This means that residents will have the final say on whether any of the three cities should host a gambling venue.
The approval of the casino legalisation bill was the first major gambling expansion effort to successfully survive through Virginia’s Legislature in recent years. State lawmakers have traditionally been opposed to all forms of gambling.
The casino bill’s approval came as an excellent piece of news for a group of Bristol businessmen, who presented last September a plan to develop a US$ 250 million casino resort at the vacant site of Bristol Mall.
The group said: “We are pleased that the General Assembly has created a framework for moving forward with this project. The resort and casino will provide a major economic boost to the city of Bristol, as well as the whole region. As we take the next steps to make this project a reality, we will continue working closely with our local and state elected leaders.”