Proposed Casino Resort in South Richmond Awaits Public Approval

Downtown Richmond Virginia VIRGINIA — A forum organized Thursday by councilwoman Ellen Robertson, including a Pamunkey Indian Tribe representative and Richmond leaders, has been set up to give Richmond residents from the 6th district the opportunity to learn more the proposed casino resort that the Pamunkey Tribe are hoping to make a reality in the state’s capitol.

Thursday’s forum will include leaders from the civic and community realms, including Robert Gray, Tribal Government Chief of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe, William Smith, Richmond’s Police Chief, Mark Olinger, director of Richmond’s Department of Planning and Development Review, and Leonard Sledge, director of Richmond’s Department of Economic and Community Development.

The meeting is scheduled to run for two hours, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. local time, and will be held at the Bellemeade Community Center.

Casino Details

The Pamunkey Tribe wants to bring a ‘world-class’ resort and casino, a $350 million investment, to Richmond’s Manchester neighborhood.

Four parcels of land on the city’s Southside are either under contract by the tribe or have been purchased by them. The tribe plans to develop the mega resort off Ingram Avenue and Commerce Road, where three parcels of land, totaling 36 acres, are available for their use.

The fourth parcel of tribe-affiliated land is 13-acres worth and located off Jefferson Davis Highway, near Walmsley Blvd. According to the tribe, they would use this off-site parcel property initially as a workforce training facility. Once hiring for the resort is complete, the Jefferson David property will then serve as a beneficial space for the surrounding community, possibly a health clinic or grocery store.

The resort and casino is planned to have a four-diamond, 275-room hotel tower offering ‘stunning views of the James River and Downtown.’ A spa and fitness center, and pool are among the featured amenities. There will also be several exciting dining options, including a luxury steak and seafood restaurant, a sports bar and grill, a buffet, and food court.

“We are very excited about our plans to bring a great resort and casino to Richmond,” said Robert Gray, Chief of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe. “Not only does this help fulfill the government’s intent to use gaming to help us secure our future, but it will also be a great economic boost for the City of Richmond and its citizens.”

Legalized Casino Gambling in Virginia

Currently, Virginia doesn’t allow tribal casinos or commercial casinos, and the state hasn’t been able to be easily budged when it comes to their stance on the issue, but that’s starting to change recently. With legalized gambling becoming more streamlined throughout the country, it’s making Virginia take a close, hard look at how it could benefit their state.

In the beginning of February, the bill to legalize commercial casinos in the state was approved by the Senate General Laws and Technology Subcommittee on Gaming. Next to follow-suit are state officials, with a majority of them thus far giving the green light.

Resident approval will be the last important, crucial piece of the legalization puzzle. If the majority of voters give their approval, the Pamunkey Tribe’s envisioned casino could become a reality, as well as other casino venues in the state.

North Carolina Takes Next Step in Sports Betting Legislation

North Carolina is putting in a lot of effort in order to stay up-to-date with some other states and to legalize sports betting. Last week, the Senate of North Carolina approved a piece of legislation that aims to allow two casinos in this American state to add sports betting services to the list of offerings.

The name of the bill is Bill 154, and it was approved by a 50-seat body with a total of 43 people voting for and seven voting against the bill. The bill is now presented to the House of Representatives of North Carolina, and if everything goes well, we could see sports betting services in two Native American casinos very soon.

Senate Bill 154 is actually the work of Jim Davis, who is a Republican State Senator. It was introduced to the lawmakers back in February since the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians requested it. The tribe would be allowed to add sports betting as one of the Class III services that are already offered in the two casinos – Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino and Hotel and Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort.

According to Casino.org, which published a report related to the North Carolina bill, Davis proposed only land-based sportsbooks which would offer sports markets that are related to professional and college sports. However, the bill doesn’t say anything about mobile or online sports betting platforms. If this is indeed the case, it would be a huge let-down as online sports betting is way more popular at the moment compared to land-based sportsbooks in the US.

The PASPA Consequence

The Senate Bill 154 was proposed right after the United States Supreme Court invalidated the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) which was one of the main acts responsible for the reason why sports betting was illegal in the states. After the act was invalidated, many states started preparing laws to accept sports betting and include it as a part of casino offer both on the land and on the web. Some of the countries that were pioneers in offering sports wagering services were New Jersey, Delaware, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Mississippi, and Rhode Island. Apart from these, there are talks in 30 more states about legalizing sports betting, and many states are already making wise legislative moves so as to enable their citizens to place bets on sports. Some of the states that are currently considering what to do are Washington, Indiana, and Arizona.

One of the most important perks of sportsbetting is not the fun that it brings to people who love this type of entertainment, but additional revenue streams that would fill in states’ budgets. Davis told North Carolina Senate that casinos run by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians already filled in the state’s budget. The Cherokee Indians managed to build a hospital and fund a lot of social programs in North Carolina. Therefore, allowing them to offer sportsbetting services would further strengthen the relationship between the casinos and North Carolina. Furthermore, a total of annual gaming revenues in this state could go up to $14 million with approximately $1 million going to North Carolina.

Davis stated that table games and slots were already legal in North Carolina and that sports wagering would just expand the number of possibilities for people who like visiting casinos. Furthermore, he added that sports betting is already legal and that it is a great reason to give an opportunity to the Eastern Band to offer that service as they were already very grateful to North Carolina and had been ‘good stewards of money.’

Lawmakers in Virginia Said Yes to Casinos!

Virginia is on the brink of entering a new era by legalizing casino gambling in the state. That would be a huge step forward for this state as it could bring many new potential streams of revenue and attract thousands of tourists.

Last Saturday, the General Assembly approved a gambling bill which allows the construction of casinos in a couple of areas in Virginia. There’s only one thing that is left before the construction can begin, and that is the signature of the governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam.

That doesn’t seem to be a problem for the governor, as he already stated that he was willing to sign everything needed for the construction to begin. In other words, if he didn’t change his mind in the past couple of days (which is highly unlikely), it seems that Virginia is about to legalize gambling and begin building casinos. The reason why the governor supported this bill was his intention to create more income, and, above all, more jobs for the people of Virginia, especially in those areas of the state that are currently suffering from huge deficits.

The bill is called Substitute Senate Bill (SSB) 1126, and it did not have trouble making it through both the House and Senate. According to this bill, casinos are going to be built in Bristol, Danville, and Portsmouth. However, these three cities would still have to approve building the casinos on their land, and it seems that the residents of those cities are going to decide whether they are ready to accept a casino. Furthermore, according to the bill, two additional places can be included for building casinos—Norfolk and Richmond—which are mainly targeted by Pamunkey Indians who want to build tribal casinos in those areas.

Virginia Is One Step Away from Building Casinos

Virginia has had its ups and downs when it comes to gambling, as there were many attempts to offer a gambling market, but none actually succeeding as much as SSB 1126. In other words, it seems that they have made huge progress since all the previous attempts have failed. However, before everything is approved, the Legislative Audit and Review Commission of Virginia will have to conduct a couple of studies which are related to possible impacts on society and economy that casinos could have in this state. The latest findings are expected to be published by November 1, which is the time when the whole thing can move forward.

The Virginia Lottery Board will be the body responsible for rules and regulations in the casinos of this state. They are expected to begin working on the rules by January 1, 2020, and present them by June 30, 2020. A day after that, the board is expected to meet and decide who would get the licenses for building and operating the future casinos of Virginia. When it comes to the taxes proposed by the bill, it seems that Virginia would take 13-15% of the total gambling revenue.

Finally, the bill also introduced the self-exclusion program for the people who show signs of addictive behavior. They will be able to pull themselves away with this program, which would help them overcome their problem.

One could argue that Virginia is very close to hosting a couple of casinos, but there are these extra steps that need to be taken so that they can be completely approved by everyone. However, it seems that this time they are about to succeed in their effort.  Having casinos in the state is sure to boost the economy and attract many new people, which will help the tourism market.  There’s no set timeline for when the potential new casinos might be open for business, but there’s sure to be a push to get them built quickly so that the state can begin capitalizing on them.

These States Likely to Propose Sports Betting Legislation

The news about sports betting being legalized all over the US is being spread all around the world. Some states have acted immediately after the federal ban was lifted and introduced this type of gambling activity to their casinos.

However, other states recognize the potential of sports betting, and many of them are working hard to make this activity available for their sports betting aficionados. Let’s take a look at some of the states that are most likely to introduce this activity next.

Washington DC

The capital of the USA will soon make it possible to bet on the Capitals and the Nationals, and the Redskins and the Wizards as well. As a matter of fact, sports betting is likely to be completely legalized in this state by September 1.

They are currently having trouble sorting out who the sports betting provider would be, as Intralot—the provider initially selected—is already the lottery provider for this state. The regular voting process was bypassed, and Intralot was awarded a license that is now under a 60-day review.

IowaSports Betting

A bill to legalize sports betting was introduced recently in Iowa, and it seems that the residents of this state will have an opportunity to place bets on sports very soon as the bill has been gaining a lot of momentum.

A total of 19 casinos, as well as some other gambling-related facilities such as horse tracks, would be able to open sportsbooks sections. They will be able to create online apps, but people who want to bet on sports would have to be physically present at the betting site to register for an app and place bets via their mobile devices.

Indiana

Indiana is very close to legalizing sports betting as Senate Bill 522 has passed through the first Senate committee. This bill is filled with various changes that are related to the gaming laws that exist in this state. Apart from allowing sports betting activities in Indiana, this bill also proposes the construction of two casinos and relocating the existing ones. The bill was created as a response to declining revenues in the gambling industry in this state. In other words, the officials of Indiana want to improve gaming in their state as they fear people might lose interest over time.

Kentucky

The state of Kentucky has proposed a betting bill that will not only allow sports betting, but also pave the way for online poker and even fantasy sports. The racetracks in Kentucky that want to obtain sports betting fees would have to pay $500,000 to obtain a license and then pay a $50,000 annual renewal. The bill allows using apps for betting, but only if you are on site. According to some estimates, sports betting would bring up to $48 million annually for the budget of this state.

Minnesota

Minnesota is still in the process of consideration when it comes to a sports betting bill. They have an act called the Safe and Regulated Sports Gambling Act of 2019,  and its one goal is to establish the so-called “sports pools.”

Just like in Mississippi, this bill would allow sports betting at 18 tribal casinos. However, the 11 federally recognized tribes must play their part, which means that the success of this deal depends heavily on them. If they reach an agreement, there will be plenty of room to explore all the possible option and eventually introduce sports betting to Minnesota.