Report: Northern Virginia casino would bring 'positive' fiscal, economic impact | WTOP

Tuesday 26th November 2019

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A new report found that legalizing casinos in Virginia would provide a modest economic boost in state tax revenues and to communities where casinos are located. And, a casino in Northern Virginia would generate additional positive fiscal and economic impact.

The Virginia General Assembly's research agency issued a report Monday evaluating the economic impact of allowing new casinos around the state and legalizing types of online gambling.

Whether to legalize casinos and other gambling issues are set to be heavily debated in the 2020 legislative session.

The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission found that legalizing online betting and allowing casino resorts in Bristol, Portsmouth, Norfolk, Danville and Richmond, would provide an overall yearly increase in state tax revenues by about $370 million.

The report also included a study on projected state revenue if a casino were authorized in Northern Virginia. The projected net gaming revenue of a Northern Virginia casino is $595 million annually.

It found that statewide gaming tax revenue would be increased by an estimated $155 million or 59%, and a casino would generate 4,424 jobs.

A Northern Virginia casino would also bring in "substantial revenue" from out-of-state customers and keep $100 million in the state that residents are spending in casinos in other states, the report said.

The report also noted that expanding gaming in Virginia will increase the number of people at risk of harm from problem gambling. The state's gambling prevention and treatment efforts are minimal, the report found.

The report also said the state's horse racing industry would be hurt by the new casinos.

WTOP's Abigail Constantino contributed to this report.

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