Pamunkey Tribe Reiterates Interest to Build Either Commercial or Tribal Casino in Virginia

Virginia General Assembly has until March 2020 to make a decision on a host of bills that would make casinoс legal in the state and would also regulate them.

While the consideration period is still active, the Pamunkey Tribe is making steps to get a better position in the possible competition for casino operating licenses. Earlier in January, the Native American tribe inked a deal with the city of Norfolk that would provide it with the chance to purchase a local property and use it for the construction commercial casino resort in proximity to the Elizabeth River. Apart from that, the Pamunkey Indians have also revealed plans for another casino venue on the territory of South Richmond.

The process of consideration and negotiation for the Norfolk agreement took several rounds and three public hearings to the Pamunkey Tribe to reach a deal with the city. Under the provisions of the agreement, the tribe would be able to use a 13-acre industrial site to build a casino venue. At the time when the final public hearing was held, the majority of people who attended the meeting backed the casino project of the Indian tribe.

According to one of the members of the Pamunkey Tribe who lives in Norfolk, Kevin Krigsvold, the casino projects аре a great opportunity for the Native American nation to start building certain infrastructure, boost the number of job opportunities, etc.

Pamunkey Indian Tribe Wants to Establish Casinos in Norfolk and South Richmond

As mentioned above, the Pamunkey Indians have been interested in establishing a presence in South Richmond, too. There are four parcels of land that the tribe has purchased or has under contract in the south part of the city. According to preliminary plans, the tribe is willing to establish a tribal casino resort on about 36 acres situated in the so-called Dog Town, as the industrial part of Manchester is widely popular.

The location in New Kent County that was first proposed by the tribe got rejected. Following a year of a turbulent negotiation process, the Pamunkey Indians faced some difficulties in Norfolk, forcing it to reconsider their initial project, so they downsized and decided to switch to plans for a commercial casino venue rather than the initially considered tribal casino.

The spokesman of the Pamunkey Tribe, Jay Smith, shared that the nation sticks to its willingness to set foot in Richmond. Mr. Smith further shared that the Tribe is flexible enough to be able to go “either way” with the casino project, so they are ready to work on a project for a tribal or a commercial casino.

In case the Pamunkey Indians decide to take the road to establishing a tribal casino, they would not be forced to wait for the state’s General Assembly to officially give the green light to casinos and allow them to operate in the state. The federal process of approval, however, is a lengthy one and could take much more time than the one regarding so-called commercial casinos.