RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia lawmakers are taking steps to legalize casinos in five cities around the state.
A Senate committee advanced legislation Tuesday that would allow Bristol, Danville, Richmond, Norfolk and Portsmouth to hold local referendums to approve casinos.
Virginia is currently one of only a handful of states that forbid any type of casinos, but it has been inching toward legalizing them in recent years.
Advocates say large-scale resorts with casinos in economically disadvantaged areas will create new jobs and boost tax revenues.
Conservative groups warned lawmakers that new casinos would enrich wealthy developers and casino operators while hurting the state's poor.