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Virginia continues Casino Development and Projects

Petersburg City Council has voted unanimously to select Cordish Cos. to develop a $1.4 billion casino project. Learn more about the decision and what it means for Petersburg's future.
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Branimir Ivanov | Senior News Contributor

Updated: Apr 28, 2024

The Possible Launches

In a significant move that could potentially reshape the landscape of Petersburg, Virginia, City Council officials have unanimously selected Baltimore-based Cordish Cos. as the developer for a proposed casino project. The decision follows the passing of an amended version of SB 628 by the General Assembly, which now makes Petersburg eligible to host a casino.

The surprising vote occurred during a closed session of the council on April 24, with no prior indication on the meeting agenda. Council members refrained from providing details to reporters present at the meeting, leaving many questions unanswered. However, this move signals a pivotal step towards the realization of a casino in the city, pending approval from local voters.

The Cordish Cos. revealed an ambitious vision for the project, estimating a $1.4 billion investment over 15 years. Their proposal, named the Live! Casino & Hotel Virginia, aims to become a premier tourist attraction in central Virginia, offering a blend of gaming and entertainment.

 

Key takeaways from the decision:

  • The vote comes shortly after the General Assembly approved SB 628, sponsored by Sen. Lashrecse Aird, which makes Petersburg eligible for a casino. Residents will have the final say in a ballot this fall.
  • Cordish Cos. was selected from a pool of five finalists, including Bally's Corp., Rush Street Gaming, The Warrenton Group, and Penn Entertainment.
  • The Live! Casino & Hotel Virginia project is poised to include a casino, hotel, entertainment venue, and dining options. The first phase of development will encompass a 200-room hotel, a 3,000-seat entertainment venue, eight restaurants, a fitness center, and a resort pool.
  • The gaming facility is set to feature 1,600 slot machines and 46 live table games

.

Bruce Smith Enterprise, owned by NFL Hall of Famer Bruce Smith, is also a major participant in the project with a 50% stake. The complex is expected to generate substantial employment opportunities, with 7,000 residents projected to be employed once the development is completed.

Cordish Cos. has a track record of successful developments, including Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland in Anne Arundel County, Power Plant Live! Entertainment district in Baltimore, and two Hard Rock casinos in Florida.

The decision to select Cordish Cos. as the developer for the proposed casino project underscores the city's efforts to revitalize its economy and attract tourism. With the upcoming referendum in November, Petersburg residents will have the opportunity to determine the future of the Live! Casino & Hotel Virginia project and its potential impact on the community.

This move also comes at a time when Petersburg is seeking ways to boost its economy and attract investment. The casino project promises not only to create jobs but also to increase tourism revenue and stimulate local businesses. Furthermore, the development could potentially enhance Petersburg's appeal as a destination for entertainment and leisure activities.

The selection of Cordish Cos. reflects the company's extensive experience in the gaming and entertainment industry. With successful projects across multiple states, Cordish brings a wealth of expertise and resources to the table, positioning them as a strong candidate to deliver on the ambitious vision for the Live! Casino & Hotel Virginia.

 

Selecting Cordish Cos. for the casino project represents a significant step forward for Petersburg. We believe their vision aligns well with our goals for economic growth and revitalization.

 

Despite the unanimous vote by the City Council, some residents and community groups have expressed concerns about the potential social and economic impacts of a casino in Petersburg. Issues such as increased traffic, gambling addiction, and changes to the city's social fabric have been raised as points of contention. As the project moves forward, it will be essential for city officials and developers to address these concerns and engage in transparent dialogue with the community.

The upcoming referendum in November will be a crucial moment for Petersburg residents to voice their opinions on the proposed casino project. The decision will ultimately shape the city's future and determine its trajectory in the years to come. As Petersburg prepares for this important vote, all eyes will be on how the Live! Casino & Hotel Virginia project unfolds and its potential implications for the city and its residents.

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