As of January 5, 2024, state Sen. David Marsden is leading a legislative initiative to allow Fairfax County in Virginia to host a commercial casino. The intention is to diversify the economy and offer an option for residents in the northern part of Virginia to gamble without having to cross into Maryland.
Sen. Marsden has revealed that the legislative efforts are a collaboration with the Comstock Companies, a prominent commercial real estate developer in the area. The partnership aims to bring a casino to the region, taking advantage of its location near the Metro’s Silver Line.
Those in favor of the casino proposal argue that Fairfax County has been hit hard by the pandemic, leading to a decline in commercial real estate. They believe that a casino could provide a much-needed boost to the local economy and help counteract the outflow of money to neighboring Maryland casinos.
However, opposition to the casino proposal is growing, with local governments passing formal ordinances rejecting the idea. A grassroots coalition called “Citizens Opposed to Reston Casino” has also emerged to fight against the potential development.
Despite the objections, the legislative push for the casino is well-funded, with the Comstock Companies having established a political action committee called “Building a Remarkable Virginia” to support the initiative.
Sen. Marsden has confirmed his plans to reintroduce the casino bill during the 2024 General Assembly session, which is set to begin next Wednesday, January 10th. With economic recovery in mind, the casino proposal is expected to spark a lively debate amongst the policymakers in Virginia.
If passed, the legislation would expand the number of permissible casino host jurisdictions in the state, potentially leading to the construction of a casino in the region.