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.
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.
“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.