PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) - A bill that would allow casinos to function in Hampton Roads to help fund transportation costs died in the Virginia State Senate.
State Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) got the gaming bill further along in the General Assembly than it's ever been before. The bill would have covered the cost of proposed tolls on tunnels in Hampton Roads.
"We wanted to see how much money we can generate from having a casino in the Hampton Roads area... there's a new casino in Maryland that contributes $1 million a day to localities and the state," Lucas said.
The General Laws and Technology Committee agreed to hear the bill, rejected it with a vote of 15-0, then recommended Lucas do more research about its benefits.
"When you think about the adverse impact the tolls will have in the Hampton Roads area, we realized we have to do something," Lucas said.
Although casinos may be a breeding ground for betting addicts, Lucas is insistent having citizens pay to drive through tunnels would create a much worse effect.
"Bad environments are a myth and if you don't want to go to the casino, don't go. Nothing creates a bad environment more than costly tolls," Lucas said.
Portsmouth resident and businessman Charles Greenhood agreed with Lucas.
"We are up the creek. You might as well throw the paddles back because we're dead," Greenhood said.
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