Study Recommends One Agency For Virginia Gaming

Written By Russ Mitchell on October 18, 2022 - Last Updated on August 1, 2023
Virginia gaming study

Depending on the bets you make in Virginia, one of three state agencies may be in charge of Virginia gambling rules and regulations.

  • The Virginia Racing Commission oversees live horse racing. That includes electronic historical horse racing (HHR) games.
  • Charitable gaming falls under the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and
  • The Virginia Lottery handles other areas. The list includes sports betting and casino gaming. That’s in addition to retail and online lottery games, of course.

That could change if the Virginia General Assembly follows the recommendations made in a report released on Monday.

A commission in charge of Virginia audits and reviews put the information together. And, the group just advised lawmakers to create a single agency to oversee all of the Virginia bets mentioned above.

In addition, they found a few areas where central management of gaming might help.

One state agency for VA bets

The study suggests the racing commission doesn’t have enough staff to monitor both horse races and the HHRs. That might be something VA Lottery staff can fold in.

HHRs aren’t common in other states. If you’re new to Virginia betting:

The Historical Horse Racing machines allow players to wager on older races. Think of it as a hybrid instant-win game. It essentially blends horse racing with the risk of a slot machine play.

The commission feels a newly-formed “Virginia Lottery and Gaming” agency might address staffing needs too. Additionally, the study suggests the state doesn’t have enough staff to stay on top of the HHR games.

In fact, a separate recommendation asks lawmakers to consider tighter monitoring of HHR operators, suppliers and employees.

Virginia gaming is changing

Within the proposed VA Lottery and Gaming agency, the study recommends a gaming policy office. The new department would monitor:

  • new developments
  • trends
  • technologies, and
  • types of gaming as well as unregulated forms of gaming.

That could include online Virginia casinos as well. Online lottery and online casino have done well as side-by-side options in other states.

A policy office could then offer research and support when new betting options emerge.

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Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell covered news and sports in Iowa since 1997, including 11 years as managing editor for one of the most decorated community newspapers in the state. He joined PlayIA as a lead writer and managing editor in 2021. He anxious to explore the growing Virginia gaming industry.

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