Bally’s Still Moving Forward With Petersburg Casino Despite Downgrades


Published on: April 2, 2024, 05:38h. 

Last updated on: April 3, 2024, 10:00h.

Rhode Island-based Bally’s Corporation has received its third credit rating downgrade this week. Fitch Ratings recently downgraded the casino company from “B+” to “B.”

Bally's Virginia Petersburg casino
A Bally’s sign goes up on the former Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport in Louisiana in 2021. Bally’s has been downgraded yet again, this time by Fitch, but the development won’t impede the company’s ability to pursue a casino project in Virginia. (Image: Shreveport Times)

This noninvestment grade reflects Bally’s uncertain financial situation as it seeks to raise $800 million for the construction of a $1.1 billion casino resort in downtown Chicago.

In addition to Chicago, Bally’s is looking to develop a smaller casino near Penn State University in Pennsylvania, as well as exploring opportunities in Virginia, particularly in Petersburg.

Having previously bid on the Richmond casino opportunity which was ultimately rejected, Bally’s now has its sights set on Petersburg, following legislative efforts to relocate the casino license to this city.

The Virginia General Assembly has passed legislation allowing Petersburg City Council to consider proposals for a casino resort, with Governor Glenn Younkin needing to act on the measure by April 8 at 11:59 pm EST.

Bally’s Continues to Focus on Petersburg 

Despite recent credit rating downgrades, Bally’s remains committed to its Petersburg casino project, stating that they are prepared to participate in the bidding process should one be initiated in Petersburg.

Bally’s representatives have expressed confidence in their proposed world-class casino resort in Petersburg, stressing the importance of city and voter approval for the project to move forward.

If Petersburg authorizes a bidding period for the casino license, the city council may consider other competitors alongside Bally’s due to the company’s financial situation.

Maryland-based Cordish Companies has shown interest in bidding for a Petersburg casino license, proposing a $1.4 billion mixed-use development in the city.

Youngkin’s Decision on Casino Legislation

Governor Youngkin is currently reviewing Senate Bill 628, which designates Petersburg as a host city for a commercial casino, as Virginia already allows casinos in Norfolk, Portsmouth, Bristol, and Danville.

Recent developments in Richmond indicate that the governor may use the Petersburg casino bill for his Potomac Yard Entertainment District, but with the project now off the table due to other circumstances, the situation remains uncertain.  

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