Native American Gaming and Casino Gambling in Virginia

By the end of 2020, there were at least 527 licensed gaming establishments operated by 247 tribes across 29 states. Tribal casinos in the United States have become both a driver of revenue and a popular tourist attraction for tribal communities and states alike.

Richmond officials held the required voter referendum in 2021, when residents would have a clearer understanding of what development might occur if a casino was authorized. The delay also allowed the election for mayor to be completed in 2020, without casino gambling being on the ballot. All four cities voted in favor of casino gambling on November 3, 2020. The approval percentage of 71% in Bristol was highest in the state. The potential for a casino in Northern Virginia was clear, even though the 2020 General Assembly authorized only five casinos. The owner of Colonial Downs, Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, focused on gaming in Danville. It had planned to open a Rosie’s Gaming Emporium there after city voters approved a pari-mutuel betting facility in 2019, but in 2020 expressed interest in being chosen as company authorized to open a casino in Danville.

Seneca Niagara Casino

From the 1770s to the late 1800s, Indian tribes signed treaties under which they gave up much of their land to the federal government. However, under these agreements, the tribes retained the right to govern themselves as sovereign nations.

Are all US casinos owned by Indian tribes?

Do All Indian Tribes Run a Casino? According to NIGC's data, not all federally recognized tribes in the US operate a gambling establishment. As of 2020, there are 574 recognized US tribes, and 248 of those are federally recognized to operate a tribal casino. Some of them run multiple gambling establishments.

However, this special nation-within-a-nation status has met opposition while American Indian tribes venture into gambling operations which are illegal within their state. The assault on sovereign gaming issues began with the Pala Compact between the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Pala Band of the Mission Indians in California-a tribe that currently does not operate any type of gaming.