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Virginia to Choose Between Five Operators for New Casino License


The State of Virginia is about to grant its fifth casino license, and five operators are invited to present themselves at a meeting that will be held in the town hall. The companies that applied for the license when Petersburg City Council published a Request for Proposal (RFP) are The Cordish Companies, Penn Entertainment, Bally’s Corporation, Rush Street Gaming, and The Warrenton Group.

Five applicants:

According to CBS 6 News, it is still unknown if the residents will be included in deciding on the newest Petersburg casino. According to Senator Lashrece Aird, the city council will choose which operator is the most suitable for the license. Still, the town hall is important to ensure a transparent process. The residents are interested in participating in the process, so more than a hundred want to hear what operators will be questioned.

Penn National Gaming wants to build a casino and resort on Frontage Road, just off I-95. Penn has big plans for the potential resort, including a casino, an ESPN bet sportsbook, a 200-room hotel, various restaurants, and retail space. On top of that, the company plans to join forces with Live Nation to add an 8,000-person amphitheater to the property.

Back in 2022, The Cordish Companies was one of the competitors. This new project would see them collaborate with Bruce Smith, a former member of the Virginia Hall of Fame, who would be a codeveloper. The company would half own the casino, and the other half would belong to the state’s athletes and businessmen. Its potential casino would be located off Wagner Road and I-95, and the property would feature a casino, restaurants, two hotels, and a modern entertainment space.

The third company that applied for the license is Rush Street Gaming. Their main asset is a claim that up to 40% of owners and investors would be minorities. Apart from the casino and hotel, Rush Street Rivers Casino would include business and entertainment space. It will be located just off of County Drive. On top of that, the local union group supports the company.

Bally’s Corp was the fourth to pitch for the casino. They plan to have 15% of the company’s equity from the locals. Bally’s would place its casino on Rivers Road, off of I-95. In the meantime, the company would operate a temporary casino. The main property would feature a casino, a hotel with 500 rooms, restaurants, as well as entertainment space.

The Warrenton Group pitched last. They want to build a casino off of South Crater Road, and with the support of unions, they plan to develop a temporary casino. Their property would include a casino, restaurants, various entertainment options, and a hotel with 200 rooms. On top of that, there would be a housing complex for workers, as well as a healthcare facility and a culinary training program.

The next steps:

The Senate and the House should determine if the voters would get a say in this, so if they reject it, Governor Glenn Youngkin will be the one to make a decision, while if approved, the voters will have their minds on a referendum in November 2024.

The residents are mostly happy about the new casino. As WTVR CBS 6 Richmond reports, one commented: “I think we need one here and it will help the economy.” However, others are against it. One woman said: “This is a direct transfer of wealth from people who are already economically devastated. They are promising to do things with the money we are giving them.” 


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