With the referendum for the approval of Virginia’s two new casinos approaching, license candidates have launched campaigns that aim to earn the votes of the locals. One of the candidates, the Pamunkey tribe, is looking to win the license race for the planned casino in the city of Norfolk, in proximity to Harbor Park.
Chief Robert Gray, who heads the Pamunkey tribe, launched a press conference earlier this week in an attempt to gain the approval of the Norfolk voters. During the press conference, Chief Gray introduced attendees to the “All In for Norfolk Casino Committee”, whose aim is to convince Norfolk residents to vote in favor of the Pamunkey’s project.
The new campaign will emphasize the merits Norfolk residents will see should they give their thumbs-up to the tribal casino. So far, the tribe has given over $210,000 to “Yes Norfolk Referendum Committee” and “Yes Norfolk PAC”.
Both groups are supporters of the Pamunkey casino project. The tribe also partners with the Golden Eagle Consulting II LLC, a lobbying group that receives financial backing from Jon Yarbrough, a well-known American magnate and founder of the company Video Gaming Technologies.
Chief Gray Emphasized the Casino’s Benefits during the Press Conference
During the press conference, Chief Robert Gray explained that the $500-million casino of the Pamunkey will help the local economy recover from one of the biggest hits it has taken in recent history. The Mayor of Norfolk backed these sentiments, stressing that the gambling venue could bring millions of dollars to the city’s coffers in the form of tax revenue.
The funds could help the local public education system, Mayor Kenneth Alexander said. The Norfolk casino is forecast to bring between $26 million and $31 million in gaming and tax revenue. The casino is expected to attract over 6 million visitors per year and provide full-time employment for 2,500 Norfolk residents.
Tribal Chief Gray also revealed during the press conference the Pamunkey are to contribute $150,000 to help build a new grocery store in Norfolk’s struggling St. Paul’s neighborhood. Additionally, Chief Gray said the Pamunkey plan involves a casino floor with 3,000 slot machines and 150 classic table games. The resort will include 300 hotel rooms, a luxurious restaurant, a spa center, a cafe, and an entertainment hall that can accommodate 2,500 spectators.
Norfolk is not the only Virginia city looking to move forward with a new casino project. Portsmouth also seeks to introduce a gaming venue in proximity to the Tidewater Community College. The city has partnered with the Chicago-based gambling operator Rush Street Gaming Limited. Chief Rober Gray is of the opinion the two casinos can work together well.
As CasinoGamePro reported previously, Virginia’s legislators approved legal casino gaming in five towns, two of which are Portsmouth and Norfolk. However, residents are the ones that will have the final say on whether or not the casino projects will see completion. The referendums for the casinos are scheduled for November 3, 2020.