Summary: The Danville City Council has approved a resolution to try and bring casino gaming to a minimum of three cities in the state of Virginia.
While several states have expanded to offer online gaming and sports betting, states like Virginia are struggling to even get started with traditional casino gaming. There are still states in the US that do not offer casino gaming or they have limited options for players to enjoy. In Virginia, the state have several cities that could benefit from casino gaming and the Danville City Council are hoping to use gambling as a way to bring in much-needed funds.
Approving Casino Resolution
The Danville City Council approved a resolution this week that could see at least three cities in the state adding casino gaming. The vote was unanimous in support of an effort to legalize casino gambling in the state. The push to see casinos come to the state began in Bristol as a group of investors were seeking the ability to create a $150 million casino resort in the area where the Bristol Mall was formerly located. The city council of Bristol approved a resolution for casino gaming back in September, and argued that the facility could give a huge boost to the city.
In October, Portsmouth was in on the idea, with their city council approving a casino resolution as well. Now that Danville is on board, along with two state legislators, the idea is to work together to see changes within state Legislature to allow residents in each community to vote on whether or not they want to see a casino added to their city.
Both Senator Bill Carrico and Delegate Israel O’Quinn have announced they plan on introducing a bill that would cover the cities casino ambitions. The piece of legislation would have to pass within several areas before it would make it to the governor’s desk. Then, of course, residents in each region would have to vote yes on a referendum for the option to be legalized. It will take a great amount of effort to see any legislation move forward and be approved.
Are Residents Interested?
So now the question becomes, are residents interested? Even if the bill is able to move forward within the legislature and signed by the Governor, will voters say yes? An independent report on the matter has been conducted by Chmura Economics and Analytics, showing that a casino in Bristol would create more than 5,400 direct employment positions and just over 1,400 indirect positions.
By the year 2028, the report suggests that such gaming could bring in as much as $1 billion in that time frame. It seems that the casino gaming would have a strong impact on the economy, which is something that voters could get behind. Danville, Portsmouth and Bristol are all strapped for cash and the massive revenues that would be created from casino gaming would certainly be helpful.
In Danville, residents are reportedly in strong support of the idea. The majority of the citizens in the region are in support. But just like with any change, there are those who are opposed. Some residents are concerned that crime will increase as well as social problems arising due to gambling.
For now, the legislators on board are working on their bill and should introduce it soon. Lawmakers in the state will be back in session on the 9th.