Petersburg, VA Moves Closer to Hosting Fifth State Casino Resort

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Continuation of Casino Plans in Petersburg Progresses Through Virginia Senate

The likelihood of Petersburg, Virginia, becoming the fifth casino resort in the state has significantly increased with the passing of a proposal in the Virginia Senate. Senate Bill 628 could lift the current population cap and change the requirements for a host city. Petersburg could realize its dream of a casino as the bill also changes definitions of tax-exempt property ownership, unemployment, and poverty.

Support and Legislative Milestones

Senate Bill 628 has received substantial backing due to the support of prominent figures such as Senator Lashrecse Aird and Senate President Pro Tempore Louise Lucas. The project continues the work of previous supporters of the cause, like Morrissey and Del. Kim Taylor. After Senate Bill 628 received unanimous approval from the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee, it easily won in the Senate with the support of all 40 senators. If the bill is passed there, it will go to the House of Representatives for final approval. Governor Glenn Youngkin will then turn it into law. Although Youngkin’s position is still unknown, many believe he will support the bill.

Petersburg’s Long Quest for a Casino

The potential adoption of Senate Bill 628 would be a significant step forward in Petersburg’s long quest to open a casino. Although early ideas in 2021 were not well received, later attempts have maintained the possibility. Amid these changes, the Petersburg City Council has begun to talk to casino operators about possible collaborations.

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Approval of Casino Resort Contract and Criticism

In December 2022, the Petersburg City Council gave its approval to a $1.4 billion casino resort contract with The Cordish Companies. However, this choice was criticized, prompting the council to rethink its strategy. In light of this, the council decided to initiate a competitive process for the casino project, demonstrating their commitment to openness and accountability.

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