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Petersburg, Virginia, Nears Casino Approval

Discover the latest developments as Petersburg, Virginia, moves closer to approving a full-service casino and entertainment district. Residents will soon have the chance to vote on the proposed $1.4 billion Virginia Live! Gaming & Entertainment District, which promises economic growth and job opportunities.
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Branimir Ivanov | Senior News Contributor

Updated: Apr 28, 2024

A case for optimism

Residents of Petersburg, Virginia, are on the brink of witnessing a significant transformation in their cityscape, as plans for a full-service casino and entertainment district take a leap forward. Their voices will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of their city when they head to the polls later this year.

In Virginia, the establishment of a casino is not solely at the discretion of businesses. Gaming regulators and, importantly, the residents have a say in the matter. Petersburg residents will exercise their democratic right to vote on whether the proposed $1.4 billion Virginia Live! Gaming & Entertainment District becomes a reality in their city.

 

Key Takeaways:

  1. Voters' Influence: Virginian voters will have a direct say in the fate of the Petersburg casino, reflecting the state's commitment to democratic decision-making in such matters.
  2. Ambitious Plans: The Virginia Live! proposal stands out as one of the most ambitious among the state's casino initiatives, promising a comprehensive entertainment experience for residents and visitors alike.
  3. Economic Potential: The establishment of a casino and entertainment district in Petersburg has the potential to create thousands of job opportunities, contributing significantly to the city's economy.

 

Petersburg's ascension to a potential casino site comes after lawmakers passed SB 628, sponsored by Sen. Lashrecse Aird. The bill removes the requirement for a second General Assembly vote in 2025, a move advocated by Gov. Glenn Youngkin. The overwhelming support in both the Senate (32-8) and House of Delegates (80-19) underscores the significance of this decision. Sen. Aird, who championed the bill, stated, “I made a promise to give my community this opportunity and today I delivered on that promise.”

Mayor Sam Parham echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the potential transformative impact of the casino on Petersburg. He remarked, “This opportunity has the potential to be a game changer for our city…to drive positive change and foster growth for future generations.”

Petersburg now joins the ranks of Portsmouth, Norfolk, Danville, and Bristol as cities eligible for a Virginia casino. With less than seven months before the referendum on election day in November, the city council is gearing up for a concerted effort to inform and engage residents. City Manager March Altman will lead a committee comprising city team members and community representatives to spearhead this initiative.

The proposed Virginia Live! gaming and entertainment district is an ambitious endeavor that aims to redefine entertainment in Petersburg. Featuring a casino, entertainment venue, hotel, restaurants, and more, it is one of five proposals under consideration by the city.

The Live! Casino & Hotel Virginia complex will boast 1,600 slot machines and 46 live table games, including a 15-table poker room and a high-limit area. A sportsbook will also be part of the casino.

Additionally, the property will include a 200-room hotel with resort amenities, eight dining and entertainment options, a 3,000-seat performance venue, and ample meeting and convention space. Cordish Cos. and Bruce Smith Enterprise are collaborating to bring this vision to life.

With a projected workforce of 7,000 residents between construction and operations, the VA Live! gaming and entertainment district promises to be a significant contributor to Petersburg's economic vitality.

As Petersburg inches closer to realizing its casino aspirations, the city stands at a crossroads of opportunity, poised to shape its future through democratic decision-making and ambitious development initiatives.

 

Virginia's Casino Potential: A New Era of Entertainment

The state of Virginia is on the cusp of a significant transformation in its entertainment and gaming landscape. Petersburg's journey toward becoming the site of a full-service casino and entertainment district reflects a broader trend of expansion and innovation in the state's gambling industry.

The establishment of casinos in Virginia is not a decision taken lightly. Gaming regulators and lawmakers work in tandem to ensure that proposed projects meet stringent criteria and align with the interests of both the state and its residents. Now, with Petersburg in the spotlight as a potential casino site, Virginians are set to have their voices heard in shaping the future of their communities.

The proposed $1.4 billion Virginia Live! Gaming & Entertainment District represents one of the most ambitious projects in the state's casino plans. Combining a casino, entertainment venue, hotel, and dining options, it promises to offer a comprehensive entertainment experience for locals and tourists alike. This initiative not only signifies economic growth but also underscores Virginia's commitment to fostering vibrant, dynamic communities.

The legislative support behind Petersburg's casino bid, particularly the passage of SB 628, marks a significant milestone in the state's casino development. Sen. Lashrecse Aird's dedication to advancing the interests of her community has been instrumental in bringing this project to fruition. By removing barriers to progress, lawmakers have paved the way for Petersburg to seize the opportunities presented by the gaming and entertainment industry.

 

“Casinos can be a catalyst for economic development and job creation, providing opportunities for growth and prosperity in communities that need it most.”

 

The Future

Mayor Sam Parham's enthusiasm for the casino project reflects the optimism and excitement permeating Petersburg. As the city replaces Richmond as a potential casino site, there is a palpable sense of anticipation for the transformative impact it could have on Petersburg's economic landscape. The prospect of thousands of new job opportunities and increased revenue underscores the potential benefits of embracing the casino industry.

Looking ahead, Petersburg's journey toward becoming a casino destination represents more than just economic growth—it symbolizes a new era of entertainment and development for the state of Virginia. With residents set to cast their votes in November, the outcome of the referendum will shape the trajectory of Petersburg's future, laying the foundation for a vibrant and prosperous community.

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