Virginia Lottery Pre-Certifies Danville Plan for Caesars Casino
The Virginia Lottery Board has pre-certified a joint proposal by the Danville City Council and Caesars Entertainment Corp. for the development of a casino resort in the city.
This means that city leaders can now move forward onto getting a casino question on the November ballot.
The Danville City Council will consider a resolution asking a Circuit Court to authorize a November casino referendum in the city on its upcoming August 4 meeting. If such a resolution is approved, the city attorney will send it to the Danville Circuit Court where a judge will have to sign an order for a writ of special election. The order must be issued before August 14 in order for the casino question to go on the November 3 ballot.
Danville is one of five Virginia cities that were allowed to host Las Vegas-style casino resorts under legislation approved by state lawmakers this past spring. However, any casino plan in any of the cities must be approved by voters in citywide referendums in order to materialize.
The Danville City Council formally named Caesars its preferred casino partner this past June. The Las Vegas casino giant has unveiled plans to build a $400 million hotel and casino complex at the site of the former Dan River Mills industrial complex.
Certainly Good News
Of the recent pre-certification of the casino plan, Danville City Manager said that it was “certainly good news” and that they are glad “Caesars was able to pull together the necessary information and show the state that they are capable of developing a high-quality project in our community.”
However, the pre-certification of the project is just one of many more steps Danville and Caesars need to make in order to bring a casino to the city. The Virginia Lottery Board said in a statement that the pre-certification does not necessarily mean that a city’s preferred casino operator would be granted a gaming license when the time for license application and review comes.
The regulator will conduct a “more in-depth financial vet and suitability review of each city’s chosen casino partner” after a successful referendum, that is to say after city voters have given their blessing to the casino plan they have been presented with.
The Lottery Board has also recently pre-certified the casino projects presented by the cities of Bristol, Norfolk, and Portsmouth. The Bristol City Council this week approved a resolution asking a Circuit Court for a referendum for the development of a Hard Rock-branded casino in the city.
As mentioned above, Caesars plans to build a $400 million casino resort at the former Dan River Mills industrial complex in Schoolfield. The property will feature a 500-room hotel, a casino with 2,000 slot machines, 75 table games, 16 poker tables, and a sportsbook, a number of food and beverage outlets, a 35,000-square-foot conference center, and a 2,500-seat live entertainment venue.
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