Published on: November 23, 2023, 04:44h.
Last updated on: November 22, 2023, 02:15h.
The Petersburg City Council made strides to legalize a commercial casino resort within the area during a recent meeting, seeking citizens’ approval for the same.
Petersburg’s moves come after a recent referendum saw voters in the Virginia capital reject a casino resort. This has prompted the Petersburg government to renew its efforts to gain the gaming rights, calling for an amendment to existing gaming laws.
Petersburg’s gaming push aims to provide significant economic relief to the region, especially considering its distressed locality status, as stated in Tuesday’s resolution by the City Council.
The resolution seeks to collaborate with state lawmakers to propose a bill allowing the city to pursue a casino through a competitive bidding process, with the goal to hold a gaming referendum in 2025.
Virginia’s 2020 gaming bill allowed several cities to seek approval for a casino, underlining the economic benefits such venues can bring, especially in areas facing financial challenges.
Petersburg officials highlight examples from nearby cities, where casino establishments have provided new local tax revenue and employment opportunities above the area’s median income levels.
For Petersburg, a casino is seen as an employment generator capable of surpassing the area’s current median household and individual income figures.
Immediate Tax Streams
Temporary casinos in Bristol and Danville have generated millions of dollars in new local tax revenue since their openings. Petersburg eyes similar financial windfalls should a casino be approved.
Lawmakers and officials have previously debated the economic implications of a casino, with a study finding that such a facility would be profitable for Petersburg and its residents.
Petersburg Mayor is an outspoken proponent of the casino, backing a proposal by the Baltimore-based Cordish Companies for a multi-billion dollar integrated resort in the region.
The plans encompass a phased construction process that aims to create thousands of jobs and deliver substantial economic benefits for the area.