No casino gambling bill in Virginia this year

An attempt to allow casino gambling in the state of Virginia has died in the state legislature.

Sen. L. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth), who introduced the bill legalizing casinos, asked to put her own measure off for the year while she gathers support in the more-conservative House of Delegates. Lucas said she’s found a House member willing to carry the bill next year.

The legislation would use casino taxes to offset new tolls that have infuriated many drivers in Hampton Roads. Once the improvements those tolls were designed to cover have been paid for, Lucas said, the money would go to the state’s transportation fund. She called it “a win-win for the state.”

Virginia is one of just 11 states where there are no commercial or Indian casinos. Religious groups and advocates for the poor, as well as businesses concerned about competition, have long opposed casinos.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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