To Top

Rezoning Vote Could Lead To A North Carolina Casino

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on August 23, 2023
casino sign on wall underneath outline of north carolina

Rockingham County officials voted in favor of rezoning a plot of land for commercial use. In doing so, the vote could pave the way for a North Carolina casino in the area. 

The 192-acre stretch of land is owned by NC Development Holdings, a company that shares the same address as Baltimore-based casino developer The Cordish Companies.

Multiple steps are still needed before a casino arrives.

Although the county Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to rezone the land, multiple next steps are required before a casino can be built. One step includes changing state law to authorize casinos in North Carolina, a step state lawmakers are currently debating

According to WRAL, the rezoning approval came despite heavy opposition from residents.

On July 18, residents, including the managing board member of a summer camp next to the adjacent plot of land, expressed their displeasure about a casino. 

Rhonda Rodenbough of Camp Carefree said:

“Phil Berger is pushing to get gambling legalized in North Carolina and that’s where they want to put the casino and all the amenities that go with it.”

Senate Republican Leader Phil Berger, who represents Rockingham County, is one of the lawmakers pushing casino legalization. His son, Kevin Berger, is a county commissioner.

Are casinos even a possibility?

On Aug. 18, tribal and commercial casino operators descended on the state capital to voice their opposition. 

Newly elected Catawba Nation Chief Brian Harris said he met with state legislators to gain support against the bill. 

Also, commercial casino lobbyists argued that the language in the bill gives one company a monopoly on the North Carolina commercial casino industry. The draft language calls for one company to invest $1.5 billion in building three casinos. The company would pay a 22.5% tax rate on gross gaming revenue.

The rezoning request does not pave the way for a casino in Rockingham County. However, it could create a snowball effect should lawmakers pass casino legislation. 

Photo by PlayUSA
Nicholaus Garcia Avatar
Written 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.

View all posts by Nicholaus Garcia
Privacy Policy