David William Marsden, Virginia’s State Senator, intends to bring back legislation enabling Fairfax County locals to vote in a referendum on building a single casino complex. The preferred location is near one of the Silver Line Metro Stations, including Reston. According to Marsden, passing such legislation would be an asset for Dulles International Airport. Additionally, it would create new job opportunities and generate revenue for the county. Earlier this year, the senator brought in a similar bill, which, however, was not approved.
Marsden, who has been Virginia’s State Senator since 2010, said that he was not a gambling fan, yet “we have to be practical, not naive”. Apart from the casino establishment, the project includes building a convention center, hotel, and concert hall, among other facilities.
Delegate Wren Williams also introduced similar legislation, seeking to make Fairfax County an eligible casino destination. Both politicians are evaluating options with Comstock Companies, a Northern Virginia developer that expressed interest in building the casino project.
Other casino proponents in Fairfax County have formed a political action committee, called “Building a Remarkable Virginia”. It has already raised $277,000, with a substantial portion of the funds generated by Comstock.
Potential Casino Complex in Northern Virginia Can Bring in $155 Million in Tax Revenue Per Year, According to a Study
Fairfax County has been known as the driving force of the state’s economy over the past several decades. However, as the demand for office space has lessened following the pandemic, the county needed to consider the revenue that could be generated from gambling, according to Marsden.
As the state senator commented, Virginia’s wealthiest region should consider the prospects for gambling. According to a 2019 study, a potential casino complex in Northern Virginia could produce $155 million worth of tax revenue per year.
As per Virginia’s 2020 gaming legislation, five cities in the state, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Bristol, Danville, and Richmond, were allowed to consider casino development projects. Consequently, local referendums were held, approving the said projects across all locations, except Richmond. As CasinoGamesPro already reported last month, Richmond voters rejected the proposed casino project for the second time in three years. Approximately 61% of voters said no to the plans to build a casino resort.
According to Marsden, the rejection of Richmond voters would pave the way for a casino project in Fairfax County. The casino development plans are not without opponents, with Walter Alcorn, Fairfax County Supervisor, expressing an opinion that a casino complex in the proposed location would deprive the area of valuable real estate.
Dalia A. Palchik, Providence District Supervisor, commented that she has not yet been approached about a potential casino project in Tysons Corner. However, she supported the idea of a convention center and would welcome a referendum. Jeff McKay, chair of the Board of Supervisors in Providence District, did not take a side, since there was still no formally introduced legislation.