WAVY.com

Casino legalization bill heads to full Va. Senate for first time

A conceptual rendering of a potential entertainment district with casino in Portsmouth

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — A bill that would legalize casino gambling in Portsmouth and Norfolk is set to go before the full State Senate for the first time.

Senator Louise Lucas’s SB 36 was reported out of the Senate Finance and Appropriations committee on Thursday, with a few changes.

One change was a compromise to allow Colonial Downs in New Kent to add up to 2,500 additional Historical Racing Terminals across the state was added back in, after being originally taken out in sub-committee.

There were also some slight changes made to tax structuring.

Lucas, who’s worked for two decades to bring a casino to Portsmouth, said Wednesday she was “levitating” at the chance to bring the bill before the whole Senate.

The legislation would allow casinos to be built in Portsmouth, Norfolk, Richmond, Danville, and Bristol, pending voter referendums in each city.