Virginia is one of the few states in the country that does not allow casino gambling.
Gambling has generally been frowned upon in Virginia due to moral reasoning and the fact that it could have a negative impact on the socio-economic conditions in the state.
However legislators in Virginia are taking a different stance on sports betting. There are as many as three sports betting bills that have been filed and will need to be reviewed.
Senators Chap Peterson, Marcus Simon and Mark Sickles are the three individuals who have proposed sports betting bills and they remain confident that Virginia legislators will approve one of these bills and legalize sports betting in the state.
In recent times, Virginia has to some extent softened its stance on gambling and has allowed the Colonial Downs racetrack to have gaming machines that are similar to slot machines. The American Gaming Association (AGA) expects Virginia to be a lot more considerate to sports betting legislation as most states are more open to allowing sports betting than casino style gambling.
However, gambling opponents are not very happy to see three sports betting bills being introduced and Virginia legislators soften their stance on gambling in recent years. The Family Foundation is one group that will lobby the General Assembly and ask them to continue to be firm on their stance towards not allowing gambling in Virginia.
In a statement, Victoria Cobb, President for The Family Foundation said
The goal of the gambling industry is to come into any state and make legalization and expansion look like a fait accompi and they have applied that strategy here in Virginia. They still work against decades of our legislature reviewing the ramifications of gambling and rejecting its worst forms
Sports Betting Bills Need Work
All three Senators know that their respective sports betting bills still need a lot of work before they will get final approval. One of the main issues that these sports betting bills will have to address is whether wagering on collegiate sports should be allowed.
Virginia does not have any major professional sports teams and hence could allow collegiate sports betting or run the risk of having their residents continue to wager through illegal bookies.
Yet another issue that the bills must clarify is whether sports betting will be brought under the watch of the state lottery or a new entity