Portsmouth casino bill put on hold

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – A push to bring casino gambling to Portsmouth is now on hold.

State Senator Louise Lucas pulled her legislation to authorize casinos in the city from the General Assembly, asking the Senate Finance Committee to continue the bill until next year.

Lucas wants to bring a casino to Portsmouth to help offset the cost of road and tunnel improvements, including the now-tolled Downtown and Midtown tunnels. However, she said she can’t get enough support this year to get it through.

“It took numerous tries to get the lottery established, and the lottery is certainly gambling, but the money, certainly a portion of it, goes to support education,” said Portsmouth Councilman Bill Moody. “Casinos in Portsmouth, if we could get them on our waterfront, I think it would be a vast improvement over a closed-down courthouse and get the jail off of there, that would be an improvement as well.”


The bill would create the Virginia Casino Gaming Commission as the licensing body.

Lucas said she will try again in 2015.

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