Report: Virginia Lottery should be state’s primary gambling regulator

Virginia Lottery offices in Richmond, Va.
Virginia Lottery offices in Richmond, Va.(Photo: The Virginia Mercury)
Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 10:29 AM EDT
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Virginia should give a single state agency the power to regulate most gambling, according to a new report that found splitting those duties among multiple agencies is creating oversight and enforcement gaps in a rapidly expanding industry.

Nonpartisan policy analysts also determined a casino in Petersburg would be viable while leaving it to the General Assembly to decide the best path forward for a casino in central Virginia after Richmond voters rejected one last year. The state could have financially viable casinos in Petersburg, Richmond or both cities, the report concluded, but each option would have different impacts on the profitability of other casinos and local tax revenues.

The pair of gambling reports, released Monday by the state’s Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, will presumably help lawmakers next year as they try to answer unresolved questions about Virginia’s push to expand legalized gambling.

Sen. Janet Howell, D-Fairfax, who chairs JLARC, said the Richmond versus Petersburg casino dispute will be “a major issue this upcoming session.”

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NBC12 is a partner with The Virginia Mercury, an independent, nonprofit online news...
NBC12 is a partner with The Virginia Mercury, an independent, nonprofit online news organization covering state government and policy.(Virginia Mercury)