Casino legislation has been passed by the General Assembly on Monday as lawmakers have given a nod to the proposed bill. The Senate committee on General laws and Technology voted 9-3-1 for advancing a mash up casino bill which will be covering projects in Bristol, Portsmouth and Danville and the Pamunkey India Tribe is seeking. The tribe is engaged in a constant negotiation with Norfolk but the tribe also included Richmond in the bill as an alternate site where casino can be built. None of the five cities will be able to allow the casino without putting the question in front of the residents in a voter referendum. The General Laws Committee has voted for referring the legislation to the Senate Finance Committee for holding further discussion of its regulatory and financial implications.
The sponsors introduced the modified legislation which attempted to accomplish the goals. Governor Ralph Northam and other lawmakers have said that they'd prefer holding off on major gambling legislation for giving them time for studying the matter completely. "There was a lot of speculation going on over the weekend," said Sen. Bill Carrico and R-Grayson who sponsored the bill with Senator Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth.
The bill will let the five cities hold referendums this fall and it has also provided them with time till November which should be completed by November. Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, said that if the tribe chose to pursue a casino in Richmond, it could avoid competition with the casino planned for Portsmouth.
A representative for the tribe has told the parameters of the original bill included Richmond, and the now the change has effectively eliminated Chesapeake and Virginia Beach as options.