Virginia Lottery
  • A draft of rules and regulations have been drawn up for the casino gaming industry by the Virginia Lottery Board.
  • Four towns have been approved to open casinos in the Commonwealth but now Richmond would like a casino.
  • A Richmond casino location will need to be voted on through the 2021 November ballot before construction can take place.

RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia legalized casino games in November and the first set of regulatory approvals has been drafted in what is stage one of the process for an industry launch.

By law, the Virginia Lottery Board has until April to develop a structure of rules and regulations for the casino gaming market. This time crunch will allow for emergency approvals (as in last minute) for the exact locations of the casinos which were voted to open in the towns of Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, and Portsmouth.

Richmond would also like to have a casino establishment, making it the fifth site for the Commonwealth, but that requires another vote that is expected to be seen on the November 2021 ballot for residents to weigh in.

Steps To Go Live With Virginia Casinos

Once the Board comes up with the general structure, many more in-depth steps are required prior to a launch of the market. First, there will be a window of opportunity for both public and stakeholder opinions on what they’d like to see added or omitted from the proposed casino framework.

Then each city location will be asked about the operator they wish to use and the operators will be properly vetted to ensure they have the required business history to be successful in a Virginia gambling industry.

The criminal and financial records of potential operators will be screened before the final step to ensure the proper security measures have been met. All internal technologies will be tested to see that each establishment is equipped to conduct casino business correctly for the patrons of Virginia.

All of this research and background information will be used as a checklist for the Virginia Lottery Board and only locations and operators that check all the boxes will be approved for licenses and the ability to enter the VA casino gambling market.

“The Lottery’s role as regulator is based on its three-decade track record as a respected and trusted gaming authority in the Commonwealth,” said Kevin Hall, executive director of the Virginia Lottery. “The Lottery’s professional staff and our Board will work to protect the public interest by ensuring the integrity of casino gaming through the strict enforcement of the law and our regulations.”

What’s Ahead

The casino gaming regulations have been posted on the Virginia Lottery’s website. These rules and regulations were posted on Wednesday.

They are currently pending the approval of the Executive Branch.

Finalizations will be done by April with the earliest launch of on-site casinos happening by the end of 2021. In January, the mobile and internet sports betting market in Virginia went live, pushing casino gaming to be next on the list.

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