A bill legalizing casino gaming has been approved by the Virginia General Assembly.

Now, the bill must be signed by Governor Ralph Northam.

Once signed, local referenda will be placed on the ballots in certain areas and voted on by residents.

But it will be a while before any casinos pop up in the Commonwealth. The legislation requires a comprehensive study on the impact of casino gambling. Study results must be presented by November 1.

The Virginia Lottery Board will then be required to draw up rules and regulations by June 30th, 2020. Licenses will then start being issued on July 1, 2020.

Jim McGlothlin and Clyde Stacy, developers of the proposed Bristol resort and casino, say this is a set in the right direction.

“We are pleased that the general assembly has created a framework for moving forward with this project,” they said in part in a statement. “We appreciate the strong support of our entire legislative delegation, who all see the importance of bringing more jobs and additional tax revenue to the region.”