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Carry Me Back

Carry Me Back

One of the few states that hasn’t legalized casinos is Virginia. But that may change. In 2018, the Virginia legislature came close to legalizing casinos, but instead opted for a study conducted by the Innovation Group and Regulatory Management Consultants for the legislature’s Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission. The study focused on five cities that had expressed interest in hosting casinos. The study showed that single casinos in each of the five cities would generate almost $1 billion in revenue, resulting in total gaming tax of $262 million at a blended 27 percent tax rate. While the most lucrative casino would be located in Richmond, the report indicated that revenues from a casino in Northern Virginia would dwarf any of the five prospective casinos. Officials immediately shot that idea down because they feared competition from MGM National Harbor just across the Potomac River in Maryland. Since the release of the study, other cities have indicated an interest in hosting casinos. The study also suggested a casino operated by the Pamunkey tribe would also have an impact. And the historic horse racing machines (HHRs) operated at Colonial Downs racetrack outside of Richmond and four other sites would also be affected. So far, it’s not clear what the next step for the legislature will be in legalizing casino gaming.

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