State lawmakers say the odds are stacked but better than ever for approval of Bristol, VA casino

State lawmakers say the odds are stacked but better than ever for approval of Bristol, VA casino


CITY LEADERS REVEALED PLANS TO REPURPOSE THE EMPTY BRISTOL MALL INTO A RESORT- CASINO — THEY’LL HAVE TO FIRST CONVINCE LAWMAKERS TO CHANGE STATE LAW. THE BRISTOL, VIRGINIA CITY COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED A RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF THE PROJECT LAST NIGHT. BUT THEIR STAMP OF APPROVAL IS MERELY SYMBOLIC. JACKIE DEFUSCO LEARNED REPEATED ATTEMPTS TO LEGALIZE CASINOS IN VIRGINIA HAVE MET THE SAME FATE. SHE LEARNED LAWMAKERS ON COMMITTEES WHO CAST VOTES TO MOVE LEGISLATION FORWARD BELIEVE THE PROJECT IN BRISTOL COULD DELIVER DIFFERENT RESULTS. “YOU KNOW I DON’T REALLY KNOW WHAT TO SAY TO THAT. I’D BE HYPOTHETICALLY GUESSING IF ANYTHING.” –BRISTOL, VIRGINIA MAYOR KEVIN MUMPOWER ANSWERING LAST NIGHT WHEN ASKED ABOUT THE LIKLIHOOD OF A STATE LAW LEGALIZING CASINO STYLE GAMBLING BEING APPROVED. BUT STATE LAWMAKERS, DEVELOPERS AND EVEN THOSE OPPOSED TO GAMBLING AGREEING TODAY THAT A WIN MAY BE MORE LIKELY THAN EVER… IT’S UP TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY…WHERE MANY BEFORE HAVE BET AND LOST ON PRO- CASINO LEGISLATION. AS RECENTLY AS JANUARY 2017–A CASINO PROPOSAL OUT OF PORTSMOUTH, VIRGINIA DIED IN COMMITTEE VOTED DOWN IN AN 8-7 VOTE ALONG PARTY LINES …ALL REPUBLICANS OPPOSED AND THE PARTISAN MAKE UP OF THAT COMMITTEE HASN’T CHANGED SINCE. BUT REPUBLICANS LOST SIGNIFICANT GROUND IN THE HOUSE IN 2018–MEANING IF A BILL CLEARS COMMITTEE IT’LL BE MORE LIKELY THAN EVER TO PASS. THAT’S ACCORDING TO STATE SENATORS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE ISSUE. ALSO IN BRISTOL’S FAVOR ARE INCREMENTAL PRO-GAMBLING VICTORIES LEADING UP TO THIS… –THE SUPREME COURT’S RULING IN FAVOR OF SPORTS BETTING –THE LEGALIZING OF POKER–NOW CONSIDERED A GAME OF SKILL–NOT CHANCE –THE PASSING OF HISTORIC HORSE RACE BETTING –AND EXPANSIONS IN CHARITBLE GAMING–LIKE BINGO.. BUT STATE SENATOR JOHN CHAPMAN PETERSON OF FAIRFAX IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA POINTING OUT THAT FOR PROFIT CASINOS ARE DIFFERENT TERRITORY AND THE MAYOR AGREES… “THIS IS A DIFFERENT VENUE SO I THINK IT’S GOT TO BE WELL THOUGHT OUT. I THINK THEY’VE GOT A LOT TO CONSIDER. YOU KNOW ALL PLACES LIKE THIS AREN’T SPECTACULAR, THEY DON’T COME WITH ALL THE POSITIVES SO THIS NEEDS TO BE DONE CORRECTLY.” NOW–IT SHOULD NOT BE UNDERSTATED THAT THE STATE OF VIRGINIA IS KNOWN AS ONE OF THE MOST RESTRICTIVE STATES IN THE COUNTRY WHEN IT COMES TO GAMBLING LEGISLATION AND THE DEVELOPERS SAY THEY ARE WELL AWARE OF THAT THEY TELL ME TODAY THEY’RE STILL IN THE PROCESS OF DRAFTING LEGISLATION AND HAVE YET TO FIND ANY SPONSORS IN THE STATE HOUSE. FOR NOW, LIVE IN THE NEWSROOM, JACKIE DEFUSCO, NEWS CHANNEL 11, IN YOUR CORNER.

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