Virginia’s gambling approval could allow online poker
Online gambling continues to expand across the country, despite what the DOJ wants
Except for the lottery and horseracing, Virginia hasn’t been anxious to get into the gambling business. This is now changing, though, as states across the country are working toward policies to embrace the activity. Virginia ranks toward the top of the list of states that could be close to legalizing casinos, and the bill could also pave the way for online gaming, as well.
Senate Bill 1126 (SB 1126) was prefiled last December and was taken up almost immediately in January. The Committee on General Laws and Technology showed strong support for the legislation, approving it 9-3. Nine days later, the Finance Committee followed suit, approving it by a vote of 11-5.
On January 31, the Senate considered the bill and amendments were added. Four days later, the Senate signed off in SB 1126, 28-12. From there, it went to the House Rules Committee, where it passed 12-5, and was later approved on the House floor by a vote of 80-17.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed off on the bill on March 22, just before the March 26 deadline for his signature. There are still several steps that have to be taken before gambling expansion in the state occurs, but the extreme support all the way through Virginia’s political obstacle course shows where the state truly stands on the issue.
There is still some concern about online gaming in light of the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) opinion on the Federal Wire Act. However, as more states join forces against the DOJ, they will be in a better position to fight the ludicrous position and allow iGaming to rightfully establish itself across the country.