Virginia Governor Signs Problem Gambling Bill Into Law

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on April 20, 2023
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin Signs Responsible Gambling Law

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin signed Senate Bill 836 into law, effective July 1.

The bill creates the Virginia Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Advisory Committee.

The bill’s primary focus is to prevent gambling addiction and provide resources to individuals struggling with gambling addiction.

Virginia governor signs problem gambling bill into law

SB 836 was introduced by Republican State Senator Bryce Reeves and Democratic State Representative Paul Krizek earlier this year. 

In a statement written in an article by Culpeper Star Exponent, Reeves said:

“I greatly appreciate Governor Youngkin’s support in this endeavor. As a father, it pains me to see how our youth have been affected by gambling and all the ills that come with it.”

The bill manifested after the Virginia Problem Gambling Hotline saw a 143% increase in calls over the last few years. 

With Youngkin’s signature, the committee can begin working on finding its new problem gambling prevention coordinator. The prevention coordinator is a new position within the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS).

Representatives from all state agencies that regulate gambling will make up the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Advisory Committee.

“I look forward to the committee’s establishment this July and the progress they will make in ensuring Virginians are given the knowledge, tools, and abilities to prevent and overcome gambling addiction,” Reeves said.

More Virginia casinos on the way

Two Virginia casinos are operating in the state. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol opened last summer, followed by Rivers Casino Portsmouth.

The Hard Rock casino is a temporary location with a permanent facility currently under construction. 

In March, both properties combined to generate $37.4 million in adjusted gaming revenue.

Hard Rock and Rivers are the first of four casinos to open in Virginia. In 2019, lawmakers enacted a law allowing for casino referendums in five Virginia cities. 

Those locations are:

  1. Bristol
  2. Danville
  3. Norfolk
  4. Portsmouth
  5. Richmond

At this time, the Richmond casino situation is currently in limbo. City and state lawmakers in Petersburg and Richmond are trying to get a casino deal complete. 

Photo by John C. Clark / AP Photo
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for PlayUSA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

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