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Silvia Pavlof October 19, 2022 3 min read
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Report Shows Insufficiencies in Gambling Oversight in Virginia
A report by Virginia’s Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) has shown that there are considerable insufficiencies in the state’s gambling regulation and a more centralized approach could significantly improve the oversight of the gambling industry in Virginia.
Split Gambling Regulation Does Not Give Adequate Results
The JLARC has conducted an extensive study on the state of Virginia’s gambling regulation practices and has concluded that only one institution should be responsible for overseeing the whole industry as otherwise there occur omissions in the enforcement of state regulations.
Currently, there are multiple agencies in the state which oversee the gambling sector. The Virginia Lottery exercises control over the state’s sports betting and casinos. The Virginia Racing Commission is responsible for horse racing and horse-racing slot machines that are offered by Rosie’s, while the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services regulates charity gambling, including games like bingo and poker and the so-called pull-tab electronic gaming machines.
However, due to the considerable expansion of gambling in the state with a wider variety of games currently on offer, these institutions are struggling to perform their regulatory duties.
Only the Virginia Lottery has been expanding its staff in anticipation of the wider spread of sports betting and the expected opening of additional casinos in the state.
For the other two agencies gambling regulation is a secondary function that they do not have the capacity to perform to the scale necessary for the constantly expanding market.
In its report the JLARC has noted: “Gaming regulation is not the primary function of VRC and VDACS. Both agencies need more staff and better technology to ensure that all gaming under their purview operates with integrity.”
Consequently, the JLARC report recommends that the Virginia Lottery should take over from the other agencies and regulate all gambling in the state.
Major Oversight Omissions Uncovered in the Charity Gambling Sector
The JLARC report has highlighted that the Virginia Racing Commission has not been able to oversee the 2,600 slot machines that are available at Rosie’s locations in an effective way due to staff shortages.
Additionally, despite other gambling stakeholders being required by law to participate in initiatives promoting safer gambling and tackling gambling addiction, the Virginia Racing Commission is not.
JLARC also reported on worrying circumstances in the charity gambling sector. Initially, this sector only included bingo and raffles but in 2021 it accounted for about $1.5 billion in turnover. For the most part, this sum comes from the electronic pull-tab machines.
The JLARC report has noted that for the period from 2019 to 2022 almost 50% of the charity organizations that operate gambling in some form did not even provide the required 10% of their winnings to charity.
This points to the fact that the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is not able to perform its gambling regulatory duties.
Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.
Industry October 19, 2022
Industry October 19, 2022