A bill that could lead to a casino resort in Petersburg, Virginia, advanced through the House of Delegates by a 5-2 vote.
The bill, House Bill 1373, sponsored by Del. Kim Taylor, now heads to the House’s Appropriations Committee. If passed and signed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin, the legislation would let Petersburg voters decide whether to approve the $1.4 billion Virginia casino project.
Petersburg casino still long way from reality
If approved, The Cordish Companies would operate the casino in Petersburg, bringing its Live! Casino & Hotel brand to southeast Virginia.
A 2019 Virginia law allowed for up to five brick-and-mortar casinos in specific cities across the state. Those cities were:
While voters in four of those cities approved VA casino gaming in 2020, efforts to bring a casino to Richmond have been unsuccessful. The potential enactment of HB 1373 would all but doom any chance of a second referendum bid for a Richmond casino.
Economic development for Petersburg
Speaking with the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Petersburg City Manager March Altman said:
“The time is now for the city to secure the financial stability that will enable our city to address the capital and social needs that have challenged Petersburg for decades.”
Del. Taylor, Petersburg officials and The Cordish Companies’ Chief Operating Officer Zed Smith said the casino would drive economic development and tax revenue to help address the city’s needs.
“Our core business is not gaming,” Smith told the subcommittee. “Our core business is developing transformational projects.”
In its first three months of operations, the Hard Rock Casino in Bristol generated $40.3 million in gross gaming revenue. As a result, Virginia collected $7.3 million in state taxes.
The Live! Casino & Hotel Virginia project would be built across multiple phases. Once complete, the casino will have several amenities, including:
- State-of-the-art casino
- Resort pool
- Entertainment venue for live music
Although things can change, the Petersburg project is a few votes away from becoming a reality.