A new casino resort is in the works in Virginia, as the Pamunkey Indian Tribe hopes to create a $700 million facility.
For decades, tribes in the United States have constructed casino gaming facilities and been quite profitable. In some states, the only gaming facilities allowed are operated strictly by tribal groups. Just recently, it was announced that the Pamunkey Indian Tribe of King William County is interested in creating a new destination resort offering casino gaming, hotel accommodations and more. The tribe was approved by their council for the idea and now are on the hunt for land.
A $700 Million Project
The tribe plans on spending $700 million on the project, which will include a casino, spa, hotel, entertainment and more. The council feels that the project will be able to create as many as 3,000 to 5,000 during the construction phase. Once completed, the resort would have a major impact on the state. As much as $200 million would be provided for payroll while $1 billion would be created each year impacting the state’s economy.
Chief Robert Gray has stated that the project does not have a timeline and the council still has to find land that will be suitable for the idea to come to fruition. The tribe is looking for land that will provide easy access as well as have water, sewer and utilities already in existence. If not, the land needs to already have the ability to set up the much-needed services.
According to Gray, the resort will not be constructed on the reservation of the tribe and any location that will be chosen will have to be given approval by the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs. The land will have to be approved as being once part of the territory of the Pamunkey Tribe.
Seeking a Partnership
The Indian tribe is not only looking to create a viable option for their immediate community but also partner with the local businesses and their neighbors. According to the Chief, the tribe would like to partner with others to create a resort that is the best for their people but also for the commonwealth.
The tribal council would like to see a revenue-sharing agreement create with the state and the local area where the resort is constructed. The tribe is currently working with an investor group, one that has helped other tribes in the United States to create similar projects.
Negotiations are ongoing with the group, so the tribe has not revealed any names. A final agreement has to be reached with the investor group and more financing provided before the project can move forward.
The Pamunkey Tribe has been federally recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs so they are allowed to become involved in the gambling industry. With federal government recognition, the tribe has been named a sovereign entity and have the right to govern their own affairs just like a state does.
If the project gains approval, gaming would be regulated by the National Indian Gaming Commission. The commission will ensure that the operations of the facility are fair and safe for consumers. A tribal government has the right to offer all forms of casino gaming including table games and slots. With these gaming options, the tribe is required to have a compact with the state. Non casino games may also be an option, like bingo and card games. The tribe feels they would be able to offer the non casino types as they do not require a state compact.