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HeadWaters Resort And Casino In Norfolk Could Begin Construction This Year

The Pamunkey Indian Tribe revealed plans for a proposed $500 million Virginia casino with plans to start construction by end of 2023.

HeadWaters Resort & Casino in Norfolk Virginia Rendering and logo
Photo by All In For Norfolk Casino; illustrated by PlayUSA
Nicholaus Garcia Avatar
2 mins read

The Pamunkey Indian Tribe has released plans for the first of two phases to build a new Virginia casino in Norfolk

The tribe signed a development agreement with Norfolk to build the casino, which city voters initially approved in a 2020 referendum. 

The new property, HeadWaters Resort and Casino, is projected to cost roughly $500 million.

A temporary casino is coming soon

The Pamunkey showed their plans for the Virginia casino to the Norfolk Architectural Review Board on Monday.

Speaking with WAVY, Robert Gray, chief of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe, said:

“I’m confident that this project will exceed the expectations of everyone. It will be the destination of choice for gaming in Virginia. We are living up to every promise we made and are determined to make this a project of which Norfolk can be proud.”

HeadWaters Resort & Casino rendering of baseball stadium and outdoor pool and lounge. Photo credit: All In For Norfolk Casino
HeadWaters Resort & Casino rendering of an aerial view of the marina and coastline. Photo credit: All In For Norfolk Casino

Phase one of the project is a temporary casino, which architects estimate 67% will be part of the permanent design. 

According to John Thompson, a consultant on the project, a temporary casino can operate for up to a year. However, the Virginia Lottery can approve an additional 12 months if construction of the permanent structure is underway.

“The legislature has said you may operate a temporary casino for 12 months. You can then extend that another 12 months if you are demonstrating to the lottery that you are complying with the requirements,” Thompson told the Daily Press. “And that’s what we plan to do when we’re ready to go.”

Construction on a permanent casino could start by 2025

Before construction can begin, the Virginia Lottery must grant the tribe a casino operator license. After that, Thompson said construction could start by the end of 2023. The first phase includes:

  • A 90,000 square feet casino floor
  • Sports bar and lobby
  • 1,200-space parking garage

Phase two, which could begin 12 to 14 months after phase one, will consist of a hotel, pool, spa, entertainment venue and additional amenities. 

For May, the three Virginia casinos generated $45.5 million in revenue, translating to $8.2 million in state taxes.

Nicholaus Garcia Avatar
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Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for PlayUSA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

View all posts by Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for PlayUSA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

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