The Virginia State Police just established a gaming tip line to serve as a crime buster hotline for bets.
Customers can use make a call or go online if they don’t sense fair play when they:
- sit down at a poker table
- log onto a sportsbook
- or bet at a racetrack.
You won’t always get a winning hand at Virginia casinos. But, the gaming tip line should help safeguard against a stacked deck. Col. Gary T. Settle serves as superintendent of the Virginia State Police. He made the announcement on Monday:
“Virginians need to be aware,” he said. “If you choose to participate in gaming activities, the programs are regulated and must be operated within the confines of Virginia law.”
Settle went on to say the tip line is designed to help protect consumers and Virginia from being taken advantage of.
In addition, the gaming tip line meets the requirements of Virginia Code 52-54. The law creates a Gaming Enforcement Coordinator position within the Virginia State Police. The coordinator brings agencies together including:
- federal law enforcement,
- Virginia State Police,
- the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS),
- all other state law enforcement,
- local law enforcement and
- Commonwealth Attorneys.
The American Gaming Association calls the gaming industry “one of the most highly regulated industries in the country.” But, the AGA told the U.S. Department of Justice:
“Unfortunately, there are a growing number of companies that design, manufacture, sell, or operate machines that mimic regulated gambling devices but operate without complying with state and federal laws.”
How to use the Virginia gaming tip line
The gaming tip line can be used to report criminal violations of gaming laws related to:
- Virginia lottery games
- sports betting
- casino gaming
- fantasy contests
- and/or horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering.
Call the new toll-free tip line at 1-833-889-2300 or report unlawful activity online here. State police investigators can look into in-person illegal gaming, online gaming fraud and illegal betting practices on social media platforms. Anonymous tips are welcome.
Report general charitable gaming complaints to VDACS at 804-371-0498.
More protections could be on the way
Virginia state Sen. Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) and Del. Paul Krizek (D-Mount Vernon) introduced partnering bills HB1465 and SB 836. It would create a Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Advisory Committee.
“As Virginia moves forward with the expansion of gaming, it’s important that we understand the ills that come with it,” Reeves said in a Dec. 27 announcement. He continued:
“We must focus our attention on Virginians who struggle with gambling addiction. Delegate Krizek and myself are excited to announce our bipartisan effort to ensure that our Commonwealth’s gaming regulations properly reflect the much-needed funds for problem identification, gambling addiction education, and treatment.”
Virginia already has a Substance Abuse Services Council, but gambling isn’t a “substance” so lawmakers want a name change under SB 824 as well. The bill renames the Substance Abuse Services Council as the Virginia Addiction Recovery Council. It also increases council membership from 29 to 32 by adding two members representing the problem gambling recovery community and one member representing the Opioid Task Force.