Pennsylvania and West Virginia are seeing increased revenues thanks to their gambling industries. The state of Virginia is now taking hints from its peers and looking forward to improving its gambling offerings. The move will mark a historic reversal for the state, which has limited gambling option only to horse racing.
Virginia’s neighboring states of West Virginia and Maryland have benefited from gambling revenues. Stats from both states show that gamblers are looking for greener pastures away from Virginia. Maryland’s MGM National Harbor casino with 300 rooms and a 140,000 feet gaming space, complete with multiple shopping and fine dining options are giving Virginia gamblers exactly what they need.
West Virginia to has casinos, though not as huge as Maryland. It compensates for the same with the sports gambling options, which became legal during last September’s football season. Their sportsbook brought in $10 million in revenue in the first month.
The state of Virginia, on the other hand, has been involved with horse racing since the colonial times. The Virginia Assembly has had sympathetic views for the tradition but hasn’t improved to include other forms of gambling in the state. Conservative values and religious beliefs are often cited as the reasons behind this view.
Now, as the state is experiencing an economic shortfall, it is shifting its focus to other forms of gambling. In 2017 alone, both West Virginia and Maryland recorded about $500 million in gambling revenue, a figure that could help Virginia get rid of its financial woes. The citizens now don’t want additional taxes and lawmakers are warming up to the idea of gambling, some of them going as far ahead as saying that they will introduce legislation to permit casinos and even sports gambling in the state,
Virginia has a rather interesting relationship with the federal government since most of the government organizations have their offices in the state. Thousands of government employees are also living the state, making Virginia depend extensively on the federal government for both incomes as well as tax revenue. The state will suffer in case the federal government makes cuts. Virginia’s current struggle with revenue shortfalls will inflate the situation further. Introduction of casinos and sports gambling could be the savior Virginia is looking, but so far, no concrete steps have been taken