If a Petersburg casino ever does happen in Virginia, the state senator representing the area may have just told his constituents exactly where that facility will be. VA Sen. Joe Morrissey is pushing for voters to give a casino in the city a chance in the near future.
While the city’s choice of developer for the casino has yet to confirm Morrissey’s intel, Morrisey’s involvement in the project suggests his report is credible. Now Petersburg citizens will have to wait to see what happens in the state capital and the state capitol.
Potential site for Virginia casino
According to Shaban Athuman of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Morrissey says the casino would sit on Petersburg’s south side. The targeted plot of land is just off Interstate 95 near Wagner Road.
Athuman adds that Morrissey was part of a meeting with a city consultant and the city’s preferred developer for the casino, The Cordish Companies. The Cordish Companies plan to bring a robust, resort-style casino to Petersburg if they get the opportunity to do so. However, they have not confirmed Morrissey’s report on the proposed site.
Whether a casino comes to the city at all could be up to the residents of Petersburg. Virginia’s 2019 law requires referendum approval for commercial brick-and-mortar casinos in each host city.
Whether voters in Petersburg will get the chance to cast those votes partially depends on how successful Morrissey is in a related matter.
Morrissey advocating for Petersburg casino vote
Morrissey has pre-filed a bill for the 2023 legislative session that would simultaneously accomplish two objectives if enacted. The first is setting a casino referendum in Petersburg. The second is preventing the state’s capital city, Richmond, from holding a second vote on whether to allow a casino until the Petersburg vote occurs.
Voters in Richmond defeated the first proposal and leaders in the city planned on holding a second vote this year. However, the casino developer requested the city hold off and a second referendum requires approval from the state’s legislature.
If Morrissey’s bill is successful first, that won’t happen until Petersburg votes on a casino for itself. If Morrissey’s information is correct, then Petersburg residents now know exactly where that casino would lie.