JUST IN: Virginia House, Senate approve Northam’s amendments to casino legislation

Virginia

HOLLYWOOD, FL – MAY 11: A poker player prepares to throw her chips on the table May 11, 2004 during the grand opening for the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. South Florida’s Seminole Indian Tribe has opened the state’s biggest casino complex. The hotel has 500 rooms, 4,000 video gaming machines, poker tables and several restaurants. The public area has large ballrooms and a six-acre pool site with a 180-foot water slide. The Seminoles have shown big profits in past years by selling tax-free cigarettes and operating bingo halls, but the Hard Rock is its biggest venture thus far. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) – Virginia’s capitol bureau reporter Jackie DeFusco reports that the House and the Senate have officially approved Governor Northam’s amendments on legislation to legalize and regulate casino gaming in the commonwealth.

The bill passed the House of Delegates, 66 yes to 29 no, and the Senate, 30 yes to nine no.

She reports that the version, posted in a link below, will become law.

Governor’s Amendments and Vetoes 2020 Session of the General Assembly

According to a General Assembly document, “The enrolled bill authorizes casino gaming in the Commonwealth and establishes a regulatory scheme to be administered by the Virginia Lottery Board.”

The governor’s amendments include:

  • Change of components of the voluntary exclusion program to match the voluntary exclusion program used for the regulation of sports betting,
  • Modification of provisions for conducting criminal background checks of applicants,
  • Change of the portion of tax revenue from going to the general fund to being appropriated for programs to address public school construction, renovations, or upgrades, as determined by the General Assembly.

Sen. Todd Pillion (R-Abingdon) released this statement:

“With the Governor’s amendments agreed to on a broad bipartisan basis, the General Assembly took its final step to pass legislation that allows casino projects in Virginia. Today’s vote was to redirect a portion of revenue from those projects to fund school construction and improvement, which our delegation has made a priority. Localities will make their decision this November.”

Sen. Todd Pillion

This is a developing story, check back for updates on WJHL.com.

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