Virginia senator pulls casino bill out of current legislative session

TAGs: casinos, sen. louise lucas, Virginia

virginia-flagKnowing full well that the odds were stacked against her, Portsmouth senator Louise Lucas has given up on her attempts to see casinos legalized in the state of Virginia.

She’s not permanently throwing in the towel; it’s just that she apparently sees a lost cause (for this year at least) when she sees it. Lucas asked to put her own measure off for the year as she attempts to gather more support in the more-conservative House of Delegates.

At the current legislative setup, such a task, Lucas believed, would be difficult seeing as a number of GOP leaders that make up the House are against legalizing casinos in the city. So she’s holding it off for the year and is prepared to entrust the task next year to a House member willing to take up the fight in pushing for SB19.

The senator has been a strong advocate of legalizing casinos in Virginia, one of just 11 states in the US that doesn’t have any commercial or Indian casinos to call its own.

But unlike her holier-than-thou peers in the House, Lucas knows what casinos could do to the state in terms of jump-starting its revenue stream. She’s long held the position that her bill will go a long way in accomplishing that with the idea that tax revenue from these casinos would yield help in injecting more money into the state’s coffers, allowing it to improve on a number of its socio-civic projects, including the lessening of transportation fees on two of the state’s tunnels, as well as help alleviate real estate and personal property tax rates.

“I say this is a win-win for the state,” Lucas said, as quoted by the Virginian Pilot, before admitting that as much as she wants to push for the passing of SB19, she’s not “disillusioned by what may happen in the House”.

Live to fight another day, or in this case, another year. That’s the mantra the Virginia senator is taking now that she knows nothing will come about her bill if she goes out and continues to push it.

She still has a lot of detractors aggressively pushing to keep casinos out of Virginia, but if she plays her cards right, drum up more support, and improve what needs to be improved in the bill, then 2015 could be the year where serious discussion on SB19 has its breakthrough.


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