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.”
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.