Petersburg Casino Momentum Increases as Senate Passes Bill 628

The plan to establish Petersburg, Virginia, as the state’s fifth city to host a casino has inched one step closer to realization. The odds have increased as the Virginia Senate cleared a bill that would possibly greenlight a casino in the city.

Senate Bill 628 seeks to redefine the criteria for a host city and discard the existing population threshold. Additional adjustments to tax-exempted real estate, poverty and unemployment rate criteria could make a Petersburg casino something more than just a dream.

Senate Bill 628 has some influential backers, increasing its chance of success. Proposed by Senate President Pro Tempore Louise Lucas and Senator Lashrecse Aird, the bill continues the legacy of Morrissey and Del. Kim Taylor who previously championed the cause.

Senate Bill 628 Secured Unanimous Support in the Senate

Senate Bill 628 received unanimous support from the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee earlier this week. Now, the bill has also cleared the Senate, securing the approval of all 40 Senators.

After passing the Senate by a landslide, the measure will now go to the House of Delegates. If passed it would move to Governor Glenn Youngkin’s desk for final approval. While Youngkin has not been very vocal on his thoughts on the matter, many believe that he would sign the bill into law.

If so, this would potentially end a several years-long battle haha777 to allow Petersburg to have a casino. The initial proposal was launched in 2021 but failed to gain much support. Since then, several efforts have been made to turn Petersburg into a gambling destination.

In the meantime, the Petersburg City Council allowed City Manager John Altman to inquire about potential interest from casino operators.

In December 2022, the Petersburg City Council voted in favor of a contract with The Cordish Companies to build a $1.4 billion casino resort facility. However, this agreement attracted a lot of animosity, which is why the Petersburg City Council now plans to instead hold a competitive bidding process.

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