Virginia’s Lottery Board has has given its initial approval to new regulations that will govern the new land-based casinos set to be built in the state.
The rules will apply to the five new casinos that are set to operate in Virginia, something that was made possible by the ratification of Senate Bill 1126 by Governor Ralph Northam in March 2019, allowing land-based casino gaming in the state for the first time. The bill also allowed for online sports betting.
Under the new proposals, only operators preferred by the Lottery Board will be able to apply for a facility operator’s license. These licences will go to Rivers Casino Portsmouth, the Pamunkey Indian Tribe, Hard Rock Casinos and Caesars Entertainment. A further licence is set to go to One Casino and Resort, if the people of Richmond approve the operator in a referendum.
The Gaming Licensing and Investigation’s Division will be responsible for categorizing suppliers as either contractors, key managers, manufacturers or slot machine management system providers.
The fee for operator licenses has been set at $15m, for supplier permits it ranges from $5000-$50,000, and service permits cost $500.
Any supplier looking to contact the Division for a permit must have an existing relationship with a casino beforehand. Anyone applying for a service permit must also have a job offer or existing contract with a Virgina casino.
The regulations will now be passed to the Governor for approval, before the Lottery Board gives its final decision following a 60 day public comment period.
Virginia Lottery executive director Kevin Hall said: “The Lottery’s Gaming Compliance Department and Office of General Counsel have been diligently working to set up the regulatory and licensing framework to ensure casino gaming in Virginia is secure and transparent.
“In this role, we see the Lottery as the public’s watchdog, confirming that the law and regulations are followed, and the integrity of casino gambling is protected.”
In addition, the Virgina Lottery also revealed that it experienced a record year for sales and profits in the year ended June 30. Lottery sales increased approximately 50%, coming in at $3.26bn. Profits, which are redistributed to school programs within the state, rose almost 30% to $765m.
Governor Ralph Northam said: “The Virginia Lottery is tasked with the important mission of supporting our public schools, and this year you really delivered.
“Our Administration has focused on strengthening public education across the Commonwealth, and I wanted to be here today to personally congratulate the Virginia Lottery on its recording-breaking performance.”