The Cordish Corporations says it’s desirous about constructing a vacation spot on line casino resort close to the convergence of Interstates 95 and 295 simply south of Petersburg, Va. However the Baltimore-based gaming operator that runs Dwell! casinos in Maryland and Pennsylvania says its Virginia undertaking relies on sure legislative circumstances.
Virginia in 2020 allowed 5 economically struggling cities to ask their residents in the event that they want to authorize a industrial on line casino improvement to spur new enterprise exercise. 4 of these cities — Norfolk, Portsmouth, Danville, and Bristol — every subsequently held native referendums approving a on line casino endeavor.
Voters in Richmond didn’t. Capital metropolis residents narrowly rejected a $565 million undertaking referred to as ONE On line casino + Resort. The proposal got here from City One, a Black-focused media conglomerate that contracted Peninsula Pacific Leisure. That’s a Los Angeles-based on line casino agency that this week was acquired by Churchill Downs for $2.75 billion, beating out 5 different bids.
The Richmond Metropolis Council and Mayor Levar Stoney wish to reask the town concerning the on line casino in hopes of becoming a member of the 4 different qualifying cities in approving a undertaking. However state Sen. Joe Morrissey (D-Petersburg, Richmond) is in search of legislative approval to relocate Richmond’s unissued gaming license 20 miles south to Petersburg.
Petersburg’s native authorities management needs the chance. And the town just lately discovered a serious on line casino developer and operator to construct it.
Cordish was imprecise with its Petersburg on line casino particulars throughout the firm’s look this week earlier than the town council.
The corporate solely mentioned it might be desirous about constructing an built-in resort at Wagner Highway and Interstate 95, south of the town’s heart, if Richmond is prevented from additional contemplating a on line casino. Morrissey, who believes Richmond asking voters once more a few on line casino violates the democratic course of, earlier this yr satisfied state lawmakers to dam Richmond from holding one other native gaming referendum till at the least November 2023.
The Virginia Common Meeting agreed with Morrissey that Richmond ought to maintain off on a second on line casino referendum. That was till the Joint Legislative Audit and Assessment Fee accomplished its on line casino examine on the financial prospects of permitting a on line casino in Petersburg.
That examine was unveiled final month. The fee concluded that casinos in Richmond and Petersburg can be worthwhile, although every on line casino would generate considerably extra annual gaming income if the opposite improvement didn’t exist.
Though the regional casinos would make hundreds of thousands, that’s not what Cordish goes to do,” Morrissey instructed the Petersburg Metropolis Council. “That is no glitzy field on 20 acres. It’s a vacation spot on line casino.”
Morrissey plans to introduce new laws when the meeting convenes in January that may redesignate Richmond’s on line casino privilege to Petersburg. Morrissey says Petersburg has additionally endured powerful occasions in recent times, and he believes a on line casino within the smaller metropolis would nonetheless present financial advantages to the capital area.
Virginia’s 2020 legalization of economic playing within the 5 qualifying cities stipulates that every on line casino comes with a minimal funding of $350 million.
If Petersburg is afforded Richmond’s on line casino alternative and the capital is barred from pursuing a gaming undertaking, Cordish’s price range would probably be significantly greater than the $350 million minimal entry value.
Cordish, in recent times, spent $700 million to open Dwell! On line casino & Resort Philadelphia within the metropolis’s Stadium District, and $150 million to open Dwell! On line casino Pittsburg, a mini-casino in Westmoreland, Pa.