The Virginia General Assembly passed casino legislation Saturday night. The Governor still has to sign the bill. Casino gaming would be regulated by the Virginia Lottery.

Casinos would be allowed only in certain cities outlined in the bill. Furthermore, there would need to be a local vote to allow the casino within the city’s jurisdiction. The referendum must be adopted by January 1, 2021.

However, these referenda cannot take place unless the 2020 General Assembly session re-enacts the legislation and the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission publishes their findings and recommendations regarding casino gaming. The Commission must report by November 1. Given that referenda cannot take place after 2020, there is a small time frame for voters to approve a local casino.

The Lottery Board would be required to create a voluntary exclusion program that would prevent individuals from being entered into any casino establishment overseen by the board in the state.