f passed, SB1126 could lead to the legalization of casinos in five localities: Bristol, Danville, Portsmouth, Norfolk and Richmond, WJHL reports.
The proposed law, which would allow for local referendums, has to be approved by the House of Delegates, the Senate and signed into law by the governor.
Monday afternoon, the bill cleared the General Laws and Technology Committee on a 9-3 vote.
A number of past casino proposals have died at this stage in the legislative process, as Republicans have traditionally voted along party lines in opposition to pro-casino legislation.
This proposal is different because it allows for people that would be impacted by a casino to have the final say in whether or not a project moves forward, as opposed to the General Assembly, according to Republican Sen. Bill Carrico, who represents Southwest Virginia and sponsored this bill.
It also authorizes a study that would comprehensively evaluate how other states regulate the gaming industry while the legislative process continues.
The bill will now move onto the Senate Finance Committee.