New casinos coming to Virginia in 2022
Gambling laws in Virginia are among the most restrictive in the country. So, when new casinos come, it’s always a great event. Online casinos are still prohibited in the Old Dominion, and land-based venues only recently have been approved. In this article, we’ll talk about the new casinos opening in Virginia this year and what it means for residents.
Gambling laws in Virginia
Technically speaking, Virginian laws don’t clearly distinguish between online and land-based gambling. In practice, the state has always prohibited both forms until recently.
New state laws allow five cities to hold referendums on whether or not they want to host a land-based casino.
Sure, regulations on gambling may be inconvenient at times. Yet, it’s thanks to state regulation that players don’t need to worry about things like “are slot machines honest or not?” The best regulatory agencies always assess new casinos for fair play and trustworthiness so fraud and theft of customers’ money isn’t something they have to worry about when deposing money to the site.
The ban on casino games, online or otherwise, doesn’t extend to sports betting. Punters can take their chances on land-based venues and mobile apps. The ban on sports betting was lifted in April 2020. Horse racing is a tradition in the Old Dominion, and it has always been legalized, at least on-site. Nowadays, punters can bet on horse races the same way they bet on any other sport.
Down the road
The recent relaxation on gambling laws in the state has gotten gamblers dreaming higher. There’s no legalization at sight yet for online casinos, but with land-based ones being admitted in, maybe the virtual ones aren’t so far behind. Section 58.1-4100 of the Virginia Code defines the games that will be legalized. These include roulette, baccarat, blackjack, poker, and many other classics. The same legal frame could be used for online casinos.
A tale of five cities
In March 2019, five cities earned the right to hold referendums to vote on the casino issue. There are projects already being started in four of those cities. Meanwhile, the proposal has been rejected in one of them. Learn more about those projects below.
The River City hasn’t decided which casino they want in their land yet. The Pamunkey Indian Tribe also tried to get a license to operate in Richmond, but it was rejected, along with other bids. In fact, the majority stood for the “No” option on the ballot. Nevertheless, there are already talks about a second referendum.
P-Town gave a thumbs-up to Rush Street Gaming back in 2020. Rush Street Gaming is a well-established operator running Rivers Casino venues around the country.
The venue will be a USD 300 million entertainment complex, including conference rooms, a sportsbook and a poker room on top of a high-level casino. The groundbreaking ceremony counted on the presence of the city Mayor and several cabin secretaries.
Citizens from Mermaid City will receive a casino venue with a 300-rooms hotel and entertainment facilities. The project has been proposed by the Pamunkey Indian Tribe and was authorized in 2020. The first land-based venue in the city is expected to offer 3,000 slot machines, 150 table games, and even a spa with a pool. The whole thing is wrapped up in a $500 million structure.
The City of Churches is getting ready to receive Caesars Casino, where the “yes” answer won by a landslide. For 13,022 votes against 5,941, the city has approved the new casino. The new entertainment complex will receive a USD 400 million investment. The complex will include four-star hotel rooms, bars and restaurants, and a massive 35,000 square-foot conference center. Additionally, it’ll have a spa, a pool, and a resort. The open date is expected for 2023.
The Birthplace of Country Music will receive a Hard Rock International casino or a temporary one. The company won the referendum to operate a casino in the city. Yet, it only has a temporary location for now. The permanent location hasn’t yet been disclosed. Still, gamblers will be able to enjoy a 30,000 square feet venue packed with 900 slot machines, 20 tables, and more. The new casino is expected to open its doors by June this year.
Virginia could follow other states’ examples, where online gambling is allowed if carried in a land-based casino. Other countries with more stringent gambling laws, like Switzerland, only grant licenses to online casinos if they have a partnership with land-based ones in the country. There are many ways to allow people to gamble online legally, and above all, safely.
Story by Harry Green