The Virginia casino expansion effort scored a huge victory Tuesday, as residents of the cities that would host them approved four proposals for Las Vegas-style gambling venues.
Under a comprehensive gambling reform passed by state legislators last spring, the cities of Bristol, Danville, Portsmouth, Norfolk and Richmond were allowed to hold citywide referendums on whether they wanted to host casinos.
A question about the casino was featured on the November 3 ballot in Bristol, Danville, Portsmouth and Norfolk. Richmond residents will be able to vote on the matter at a later date. According to the first results, voters in all four cities overwhelmingly approved the construction of casinos in a bid to improve their struggling economies.
Bristol residents approve of the Hard Rock Casino
The Bristol City Council named Hard Rock International as its preferred casino partner earlier this year. The leading gaming and hospitality company plans to build a $ 400 million casino complex in the former Bristol Mall.
According to the first results, the massive project received 5,547 affirmative votes and 2,221 negatives.
The Hard Rock complex is expected to create up to 2,000 new jobs once fully operational and generate between $ 15 million and $ 20 million in tax revenue for the city, as well as millions of gaming tax revenue to be split between Bristol and 11 other Southwest Virginia towns.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol will feature a casino with 2,700 slot machines, 100 table games, and a sportsbook, a 350-room hotel with a pool and outdoor entertainment area, seven restaurants, four bars, and a 3,200-seat indoor entertainment venue, a 20,000-seat outdoor entertainment venue, a Hard Rock Cafe, retail space and a 35,000-square-foot meeting and convention venue, among other amenities.
How Danville Citizens Voted
A casino will also come to Danville after residents overwhelmingly supported a proposal by Caesars Entertainment Inc.The local referendum passed with 13,022 Danville residents voting in favor and 5,941 registering opposition to the project.
Caesars wants to build a hotel and casino complex in the former Dan River Mills industrial complex in the Schoolfield area. The company said it would invest $ 400 million in property and he promised to hire about 1,300 people at a minimum of $ 15 an hour, buy the city an ambulance and a fire truck, and pay a $ 15 million down payment for the right to operate a casino in Danville. It would pay another $ 5 million for the Schoolfield site.
Caesars Virginia will feature a 300-room hotel, a casino with slot machines, table games and a sports book, a full-service spa, a 2,500-seat live entertainment theater, a meeting and convention facility. 35,000 square feet and multiple bars and restaurants.
Now that city voters have approved the project, Caesars hopes to begin build in the second half of 2021 and open their complex in the fall of 2023.
Portsmouth citizens say ‘yes’ to Rush Street Gaming Casino
Portsmouth voters also approved a casino proposal for the city. About the 67% of all votes cast favored a project from Chicago-based gaming and hospitality company Rush Street Gaming. Portsmouth City Council approved the Rush Street proposal last May.
The company plans to build a $ 300 million casino complex to be called Rivers Casino Portsmouth and will be located along I-264 in the new Entertainment District on Victory Boulevard.
The property will feature a casino with slot machines, table games and poker, several restaurants and bars, a hotel and a conference center. It is expected to create more than 1,300 permanent jobs and 1,400 construction jobs.
Rush Street hopes your property will generate a estimated $ 16.3 million in annual tax revenue for your host city. The company will pay another $ 10 million for the Victory Boulevard site.
After the results of the referendum were announced, Rush Street issued a statement to thank the voters of Portsmouth. The company further noted that “Rivers Casino Portsmouth will be a proud community partner, a great workplace, and a strong economic engine for Portsmouth and Hampton Roads. ”
Norfolk Voters Approve Pamunkey Tribe Casino
A proposal for a casino complex along the Elizabeth River, next to Harbor Park in Norfolk, was supported by more than 65% of city residents who voted on it.
The Pamunkey Indian Tribe, in partnership with Tennessee billionaire businessman John Yarbrough, can now move forward with a $ 500 million plan for a hotel and casino complex It will feature a gaming facility, a 300-room hotel, a steak and seafood restaurant, a sports bar and grill, a spa, a cafe, and a 2,500-room entertainment venue.
The property is expected to generate between $ 26 million and $ 31 million in game and sales taxes, as well as an estimated 6.2 million visitors each year. Pamunkey tribal leaders said the project would generate more than 2,000 construction jobs and about 2,500 full-time jobs when the complex is fully operational.