The Cordish Companies plans to present its Petersburg casino project plan on Tuesday at a community meeting in the Petersburg Public Library. This presentation will be several days after the Petersburg City Council the Cordish's partnership proposal to develop a casino in the city.
Cordish Will Build the Petersburg Resort
The Cordish Companies won the bid to construct the Petersburg resort. The Petersburg City Council chose it last week. This was after a unanimous vote after the Joint Legislative Audit Review Commission discovered in a study that Petersburg can back the casino resort's plan in a two-year state law.
Yet, the State General Assembly has to authorize Petersburg to host the casino resort first. It will feature a bookie, a 300-room hotel, a 1,500-seat events space, 70 table games, and 1,700 slot machines.
Mayor Sam Parham stated that it was necessary to pick a suitable development partner that has a good track record of constructing and running casino and mixed-use properties, great community engagement practices, and a good history of revitalizing American cities.
The city's casino project is a rare opportunity to steer several decades of economic growth. Besides, Cordish Companies will help Petersburg realize its vision.
Petersburg and Richmond Casinos Will be Profitable
A recent study indicates that Petersburg and Richmond will reap many benefits from allowing casino operators to venture into their markets. A Petersburg casino will remain profitable for more than five years since its launch.
Virginia sponsored the research, which revealed that the casino will have a steady cash flow for over a decade. The study concluded that the same casino will increase the state casinos' total net gaming revenue by 18 percent. Yet, the additional revenue will have extra costs as the Petersburg casino will compete with established local casinos for clients.
The study further reveals that the revenue that other cities' casinos would drop by $1 million annually if Petersburg launches one casino. Portsmouth and Dansville's gaming revenue would drop by $18 million each, while Norfolk's revenue would decrease by $17 million.
Bristol would have the smallest gaming revenue decline of $2 million. But, Richmond and Petersburg casinos would have $130 million in total tax revenue.
Voters Oppose the Richmond Casino Plan
Richmond is the only Virginia city that rejected a casino plan after the state's Assembly legalized casino gambling in its five cities in 2020.
Portsmouth, Norfolk, Dansville, and Bristol voters held a referendum in 2020 and approved casino proposals. But, 51 percent of Richmond voters rejected Urban One's plan to develop a casino during last year's referendum.
Richmond tried to hold another gaming ballot in 2022 after filing a court petition. Unfortunately, the request failed after Senator Joe Morrissey urged the General Assembly budget committee to reject the vote as it was waiting for a study's result to assess a Petersburg casino's viability.
Virginia opened its first casino in July after Hard Rock International launched a temporary gaming venue in Bristol. Reports state that it will build a permanent casino in the future. Danville, Portsmouth, and Bristol have ongoing casino projects. Danville's casino is a partnership between the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Caesars Sportsbook.