Virginia Gaming Commission

Virginia Gaming Commission

On Friday Feb. 10, Del. Paul Krizek’s bill, HJ 548, which studies the feasibility of establishing the Virginia Gaming Commission to regulate and oversee all forms of gaming in the Commonwealth, passed with bipartisan support through the Senate Rules Committee. HJ 548 will now be sent to Senate Finance & Appropriations for consideration on Thursday. 

“HJ 548 is a step in the right direction to making the Commonwealth a champion for responsible gambling. With the rapid expansion of gambling in the Commonwealth, there is a dire need for a unified approach to gaming regulation and problem gambling treatment and prevention in Virginia. It is critical that the General Assembly has the opportunity to vote on this,” said Delegate Krizek in response to the passage. 

HJ 548 is a response to the October 2022 Joint Legislative Audit & Review Commission (JLARC) report on Oversight and Administration of Gaming in the Commonwealth, which recommended that the General Assembly consider designating the Virginia Lottery as the state’s central gaming agency. This proposed study will explore that possibility as well as other consolidation methods. 

Funding for this initiative was included in both the Senate and House proposed budgets. Currently, three state agencies are responsible for regulating gambling. A central gaming agency can focus on gaming regulation as a core mission and more readily develop the expertise to understand and react appropriately to the rapidly changing gaming industry. 

Additionally, a single agency would provide the public; the General Assembly; the executive branch; and gaming owners, operators, employees, vendors, and others with a single point of contact for emerging gaming-related issues, especially when it comes to problem gambling prevention and treatment. This bipartisan and bicameral measure has received input from the Virginia Lottery, the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, The Virginia Racing Commission, and the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling. 

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