Sports Betting Casino Legal Virginia lawmaker proposes bill that would give cities chance to legalize gambling November 22, 2019 By Ezra Amacher Virginia Del. Barry Knight (R-Virginia Beach) has introduced a house bill that would allow cities and other state localities to vote on a referendum to legalize sports betting and casino gambling. The bill would act as an amendment to the Code of Virginia, which currently prohibits casino gambling. Knight pre-filed the bill ahead of the 2020 legislative session. The state Senate already passed a bill earlier this year that authorizes Virginia policymakers to study the economic impact of gambling in other states. Gov. Ralph Northam signed the bill into law in March. Some cities in Virginia are more eager to establish casino gambling than others. In September, the Norfolk City Council voted in favor of allowing the Pamunkey Native American Tribe to build a casino near downtown. The Pamunkey Indians were recognized by the federal government in 2015. The Norfolk casino would come with a price tag of around $700m. Danville, Bristol and Portsmouth are other Virginia cities that have discussed bringing in casinos. Virginia has recently seen an increase in interest in horseracing as well. Colonial Downs, located west of Richmond, brought back thoroughbred racing in 2019 after a six-year absence. Residents of Danville voted earlier this month in favor of pari-mutuel betting. Colonial Downs Group is working on bringing simulated and satellite horseracing betting to Danville.