Virginia state legislator expressing concern about gambling revenue drain
February 13, 2017 8:15 AM
by Robert Mann
A Virginia state legislator is expressing concern about that state’s gambling revenue drain, largely to neighboring Maryland, specifically Maryland Live in Arundel Mills and now the new MGM National Harbor near Washington D.C.
State Sen. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) told local media, she believes Maryland casinos could be drawing from $350 million to $700 million per year out of state. She says that estimate does not include what might be going to other states besides Maryland. Sen. Lucas wants to bring a casino to the Hampton Roads area, specifically Portsmouth. She’s introduced a number of bills over the years to allow casino gaming in Virginia, but none have been acted upon.
Her latest proposed legislation was voted down in committee in January. "I’m losing count on the number of years I’ve introduced casino bills but each year I get a little bit closer," she said.
A 2013 study by the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization estimated a local casino would create around 2000 jobs with gaming bringing in $200-$600 million dollars annually.