For years, lawmakers in Virginia have discussed ways to effectively expand the state’s gambling industry. One of the ways to achieve this goal is to open a large new casino in the city of Danville. According to new reports, the new Danville casino plans have officially been approved by the Virginia Lottery.
It’s a big step in getting this venue built. Today, we’re going to look back at the state’s road to opening more casinos. We’ll also look at what else needs to be done in order for the Danville casino to open.
Let’s get into it!
History of Gambling Legislation in Virginia
Back in the 1800s, Virginia had one of the largest gambling industries in the United States. By the turn of the century, lawmakers here began to associate this industry with crime. They eventually made the decision to ban nearly all forms of traditional gambling.
This legal ban on gambling remained in place for decades. Beginning in the 1990s, however, state officials here began to change their stance. Many recognized how much money having a regulated casino industry could bring the state.
Several bills to legalize casinos were presented over the past 20 years. None managed to gain any traction. Fortunately, things appear to be changing. In March of this year, Virginia’s House of Delegates finally approved a measure to allow several commercial casinos to open around the state.
This was one of the crucial steps needed to get this bill put into legislation. Since that time, many have been working to come up with specific plans to open casinos in different cities. Casino proponents want to clearly explain how opening a casino will help the state’s economy.
Since 2019, lawmakers have been interested in opening a casino in the city of Danville. Many residents of this city have supported the idea, as well. It now appears we’re closer than ever to seeing a casino constructed here.
Virginia Lottery Approves the New Danville Casino Plans
City officials in Danville have been working hard to get their casino plans approved. It certainly hasn’t been easy, though. The state’s Lottery Commission, responsible for monitoring all gambling activities here, needed to give its approval for the project to move forward.
Fortunately, that’s what’s happened this week. The Virginia Lottery has officially pre-certified the new Danville casino plans. This paves the way for the casino referendum to make its appearance on November’s ballot. Voters in the city will then ultimately decide whether or not to allow a casino.
Ken Larking, City Manager of Danville, spoke about the situation to the media this week.
“It’s certainly good news,” he said. “We’re glad Caesars was able to pull together the necessary information and show the state that they are capable of developing a high-quality project in our community.”
Officials in the city of Danville are obviously excited to see this project move forward. Recently, the Lottery also approved casino projects in Bristol, Norfolk, and Portsmouth. Of course, approval of these projects does not mean a casino license is guaranteed. This is a separate process that takes place once voters approve the casino referendum.
It’s established that Caesars Entertainment will operate the casino expected to be built here. As many know, this company is involved in a massive merger with Eldorado Resorts right now. Here’s where things stand with that situation.
New Jersey Gaming Commission Gives Approval For Eldorado-Caesars Merger
The higher-ups in Caesars Entertainment have to be excited to hear that the new Danville casino plans have been approved. Of course, most of the company is solely focused on its merger with Eldorado Resorts. Back in June of 2019, Eldorado paid an incredible $17.3 billion to acquire Caesars and its assets.
This is the largest merger between two casino companies in history. Our team has been covering the merge for more than a year. Obviously, such a massive deal takes a long time to complete.
Initially, the plan was for everything to be finished by June of this year. After several delays, company officials pushed the finalization date to July. It now appears that things will be completed in August.
Eldorado and Caesars recently gained approval from the Nevada and Indiana Gaming Commissions. These companies now only need the green light from New Jersey’s regulators for things to move forward. Hope was that this would get done before the end of the week.
News has just broken that New Jersey has officially approved the merger. It was the final hurdle in the way of the deal closing. Only a few more easy steps are needed before the country’s largest casino merger is done!
These companies have reason to celebrate. Their deal is nearly complete, and the new Danville casino plans have officially been approved. Stay tuned for more news on Virginia’s casino industry over the next few weeks!