The beginning of the week saw a state-sponsored study unveil that a casino resort is going to be viable in the city of Petersburg on its own and also found that the Petersburg project would generate profit in case the city of Richmond built one.
Leaders in both Richmond and Petersburg seem to be ready to bring the casino resort project to their cities because these projects can potentially generate fresh gambling tax revenue worth millions of dollars every year. According to analysts, two casinos would account for more money as a whole but less money for either one of the cities if they were not the only casino resort in the region.
According to the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission’s chair, Senator Janet Howell, the establishment of a casino resort could cause quite a bit of disagreement.
The aforementioned report, prepared by a consulting firm operating in the entertainment development sector, examined the economic viability and considerations of building a casino in the city of Petersburg. The report also provided a number of scenarios, including the establishment of a casino resort in Pitsburg only, the establishment of a casino resort in Richmond only, and the establishment of a casino resort in both cities. It also provided a breakdown of the revenue projections of the projects.
As assumed by the study, the casino resorts would be fully operational by 2028.
Several Case Scenarios Unveiled for Petersbourgh and Richmond Casino Projects
In the scenario involving a casino operation only in the city of Petersburg, analysts found that the project would generate revenue of over $200 million in 2028, with 1,200 jobs to be created for the city, too. Four other cities across the state of Virginia where casino venues have already been approved – Danville, Norfolk, Bristol, and Portsmouth – would see their revenues negatively affected but, overall, the state would see an increase in its gaming tax revenues.
In case Richmond got the casino project instead of Petersburg, the study found that the casino resort would account for revenue of almost $300 million in 2028. Also, it would see several hundred more jobs created than in the Petersburg-only scenario.
In case both Petersburg and Richmond saw casino venues built there, the report found that the casino in Petersburg would be significantly smaller than the one in Richmond. The latest study found that the Richmond casino would generate larger gaming revenue overall, while the rest of the casinos in Virginia, including the one in Petersburg, would suffer a significant revenue decline.
Senator Joe Morrissey backed Petersburg officials who have been willing to get the next exclusive permission to build a casino in Central Virginia. According to him, regional casinos are what would be established, and not destination casinos, in case both Petersbourg and Richmond were allowed to get a casino resort.
Previously, Petersburg officials revealed that they have already been in contact with six developers, with the proposals gravitating around the larger resort casino model. On the other hand, in Richmond, local officials are still pursuing a referendum to revive the casino project after in 2021 city voters narrowly defeated a proposed casino project south of the city.