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Petersburg Voters To Have Their Say About Virginia Casino Project Later This Year

Written By Marc Meltzer | Updated:
Man Votes Collage Illustration

Petersburg, Virgina, residents are one step closer to having a full-service casino and entertainment district. They can make their voices heard at the polls later this year.

Not all casinos are built when a company wants to open a new business. Gaming regulators always have a say.

In Virginia, so will the residents. Voters will vote on whether or not a casino, including a proposed $1.4 billion Virginia Live! Gaming & Entertainment District, moves forward in Petersburg.

Key takeaways:

  • VA voters will have their voices heard regarding the Petersburg casino
  • Live! Virginia is one of the more-ambitious plans
  • A casino and entertainment district could employ thousands in Petersburg

City leaders voted to replace Richmond with Petersburg for new VA casino site

Petersburg has replaced Richmond as a city eligible to become home to a casino in Virginia now that lawmakers passed SB 628, which Sen. Lashrecse Aird sponsored1.

The previous version of this bill would have required a second General Assembly vote in 2025. However, Gov. Glenn Youngkin removed that language.

Both the Senate (32-8) and House of Delegates (80-19) voted in favor of the measure. This was Sen. Aird’s third attempt to move the possibility of a Petersburg casino forward. In a statement on his website, Aird said:2

“I made a promise to give my community this opportunity and today I delivered on that promise. While voters will have the final say on whether a casino becomes a reality, this legislation has the potential for multi-million dollar economic investment to be made in a community that both needs and truly deserves it.”

Petersburg Mayor Sam Parham added:3

“This opportunity has the potential to be a game changer for our city. Senator Aird has fulfilled her promise to equip Petersburg with the needed tools to drive positive change and foster growth for future generations.”

While the state doesn’t list potential cities for a casino, WRIC is reporting4 that Petersburg is joining Portsmouth, Norfolk, Danville, and Bristol as a city eligible for a VA casino.

Referendum on the ballot in November

The city council has less than seven months before residents will vote on the referendum on election day in Nov. City Manager March Altman will create a committee of city team members and community representatives to help push this effort forward.

Virginia already offers online sports betting. Once this massive casino and entertainment district is approved perhaps attention can move to legalizing online casinos in Virginia.

Live! Casino & Hotel Virginia gaming and entertainment district proposal

The VA Live! gaming and entertainment district will include a casino, entertainment venue, hotel, restaurants, and more. It’s one of five proposals the city is considering.

The Live! Casino & Hotel Virginia complex proposal will include a casino with 1,600 slot machines and 46 live table games.

Among the gaming spaces, there will be a 15-table poker room and a high-limit room with table games and slots. There will also be a sportsbook in the casino.

In addition to the casino, the property will have:

  • A hotel with 200 rooms and a resort swimming pool
  • Eight food and entertainment options
  • A 3,000-seat performance venue
  • Meeting and convention space

Cordish Cos. and Bruce Smith Enterprise are working together to bring the VA Live! gaming and entertainment district to Petersburg.

Between construction and operations, VA Live! should employ 7,000 residents.


  1. Virginia’s SB 628 Casino gaming; eligible host cities ↩︎
  2. Senator Lashrecse Aird Statement on the Passage of Petersburg Casino Bill ↩︎
  3. Statement on Petersburg Becoming an Eligible Host City for Casino Gaming ↩︎
  4. Virginia lawmakers pave the way for Petersburg casino vote in 2024 ↩︎
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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.

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