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Players will have their fingers crossed check here that Side Bets manages to enhance their games, while Gala Bingo will be hoping that it fares better than their last addition, the Open-Bet powered Flutter sportsbook, which launched in 2014. Another attempt to add increased functionality and additional betting structure to Gala Bingo, Flutter failed to entice the largely female audience it was specifically aimed at. By the 1890s, gambling was deemed so detrimental to all classes of society that the General Assembly could no longer countenance it, no matter how traditional. They banned race track betting in 1894, then tightened the law just a year later. Over the next several decades, with support from Protestant churches, our state government essentially banned all forms of gambling. It was not until 1973 that our legislators decided to loosen restrictions. They did so narrowly, allowing only certified non-profits to host Bingo games. The logic behind the new law was that if Virginians were going to gamble, the profits could at least go to good causes.