To Top

$1.4 Billion Live! Gaming & Entertainment District Pitched For Petersburg, Virginia

Written By Marc Meltzer | Updated:
Live! Gaming & Entertainment District, Casino & Hotel Virginia Rendering

Former Virginia Tech and NFL star Bruce Smith is partnering with The Cordish Cos. to bring a casino to Petersburg, Virginia The two companies will co-develop the $1.4 billion Live! Gaming & Entertainment district.

The entertainment complex would bring more than just a casino to Petersburg. Plans also call for an entertainment venue, hotel, restaurants and more.

There’s been a lot of momentum in Virginia’s gambling industry lately. Skill games legalization is hanging in the balance and a potential additional revenue stream for state taxes if that happens.

And now a brick-and-mortar casino is inevitably coming to Petersburg. Furthermore, the state offers residents legal online sports betting by way of 14-plus online apps. This paves the way for the future of legal online casinos in Virginia, but as of right now, it’s one step at a time.

PlayUSA’s online casino bill tracker is following all online casino legislation efforts, and when Virginia sees traction, we’ll be sure to let you know.

Key takeaways

  • Five companies are vying to build a Petersburg casino.
  • Cordish has developed five casinos, with another opening in Louisiana next year.
  • This project would create more than 7,000 jobs in Petersburg.

The proposed Petersburg casino will be built in multiple phases

Live! Casino & Hotel Virginia would be the anchor of the new entertainment district in Petersburg. The casino, hotel and restaurants will occupy 400,000 square feet. For comparison, this is about seven times as large as a football field.

Phase one of the casino will have 1,000 of the newest slot machines and 23 table games. There will also be a 15-table poker room when the initial phase of the casino opens.

When the project is complete, the casino will have 1,600 slot machines and 46 live table games, including the 15-table poker room. The final addition will also include a high-limit room with table games and slots.

There will also be a sportsbook for fans to watch and wager on the games.

Non-gaming features of Live! Casino & Hotel Virginia

The project’s centerpiece might be a casino, but it’s only one part of the entire district. There will be a hotel with 200 rooms, 20 suites, a pool, and a fitness center.

There will be eight food and entertainment options. Three of the eight venues will feature local Petersburg restauranteurs and businesses.

Developers say the 3,000-seat entertainment venue will bring some of the best entertainment from the region to Petersburg. It will also be available for meetings, conventions, and social gatherings.

Local and regional businesses can also utilize the 35,000 square feet of meeting and convention space.

Virginia casino will be a catalyst for local economic improvement

Cordish is partnering with Bruce Smith Enterprise (BSE) to build Live! Casino & Hotel Virginia. The former company is led by the NFL Hall of Famer and Virginia native.

BSE is a commercial real estate company located in Virginia Beach and specializes in mixed-use projects throughout the state and the Mid-Atlantic region. Smith is local and wants to help improve the area. In a The Cordish Cos. news release, he said:

“I have spent significant time in Petersburg talking with students and the community at large. I’ve had the opportunity to hear first-hand their stories of hardship, and I understand the struggle and the enormous challenges they face. Working as a developer in the state for over 20 years, I’m confident that Bruce Smith Enterprise and The Cordish Cos. are the right partners for this undertaking because we share the same vision and understand the needs of the City of Petersburg and its citizens.”

It will take thousands of people to create and operate the new district in Petersburg. Together, the project will create 7,500 jobs.

The scope of the casino, et al is so large it will create 6,000 construction jobs. Once open, there will be 1,500 new jobs. Cordish and BSE say the average pay will be $70,000 yearly with benefits and career mobility.

The project will also look to purchase local goods, from furniture and office supplies to professional services.

Altogether, the companies say this project will provide a $2.8 billion economic boost to the region. It will create $504 million in tax revenue for the state. This includes $240 million for Petersburg.

There’s no timeline for when the project will begin. This project must be approved by Gov. Glenn Youngkin and the Virginia General Assembly. Additionally, the proposal for Live! must be selected by the city.

A town hall was held in Petersburg Sunday night about the casino project. According to a news post by WTVR, five operators presented proposals for a Petersburg casino. In addition to The Cordish Cos. were the Warrenton Group, Bally’s, Rush Street Rivers Casino, and Penn National Gaming.

Photo by The Cordish Companies
Marc Meltzer Avatar
Written by
Marc Meltzer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

View all posts by Marc Meltzer
Privacy Policy