Virginia is likely to witness an explosive gambling industry with the construction of a new casino resort. According to reports, Bally’s Corporation recently put forward a proposal to build a new casino resort in Richmond, Virginia. A predictable worth of the resort is $650 million.
Considering how COVID-19 has ravaged the economy, this construction will also provide jobs and, in turn, offer casino players a better chance to gamble. However, some industry watchers believe that constructing a casino resort may not be profitable because of the upsurge in online gaming.
Let’s take a sneak peek at what the proposed new casino resort in Virginia will offer.
Facilities at the Newly Proposed Casino Resort in Richmond, Virginia
Aside from costing a whopping $650million, the facility would span 1.6 million square feet. It appears that after completion, this would be the largest casino resort in Virginia. Other facilities expected at the casino resort are:
2,500 slot machines
90 table games
30 poker tables
250 room hotel
13 food and beverage centers
A space for live entertainment
Also, the facility is expected to have a sportsbook and conference center. The entire landmass that would be used for the construction of the resort is 61 acres. It is located in the north of Powhite Parkway, Richmond.
The construction of the casino resort would take at least 18 months before completion. Also, Bally Corporation hopes to launch the casino in 2024. Meanwhile, the resort can accommodate 3.7m visitors yearly. On the other hand, 1,700 full-time jobs will be provided. According to Bally’s president and CEO, George Papanier, the casino resort will showcase the city to the world.
Overview of the Casino Industry in Virginia
Before now, operating casinos in Virginia was illegal. Virginia is one of the states that legalized casino and gambling in 2019. The state passed a bill permitting casinos to operate in five cities in Virginia. They are namely:
Based on this, various casino companies have forwarded proposals to the cities authorities. However, like Bally’s Corporation’s proposal for a casino in Richmond, others are still pending approval. More so, it appears that this approval may have to wait until June, when the cities municipal elections will be held.
The legislation that approved the building of casinos in five cities and 10 percent of the tax revenue would go to the local government. Also, the locals would receive 6 percent of the first $200 million of the gross receipts of the casinos.
The Virginia Lottery Board is the regulatory agency that monitors and issues licenses to casinos. Also, the board would regulate the activities of lotteries and other gambling activities in the state.
The Impact of COVID-19 on Virginia’s Economy
Since casinos were recently legalized, the casino industry in Virginia didn’t feel the impact of COVID-19. However, Virginia is also one of the tourist cities in the US. No doubt, the pandemic hit hard on the tourism industry across the USA, including Virginia.
Unlike some states that legalized casino and gambling recently, the Virginia general House of Assembly legalized the casino industry in 2019. However, the whole plan was left pending because of the pandemic. With a vaccine now available, it is believed that the newly legalized casino industry in Virginia will become operational this year. Since casino projects are big, Virginia citizens may have to wait at least two years to start gambling at casinos.
Is Online Betting Legal in Virginia?
In April 2020, Virginia’s House of Assembly legalized online betting in the state. In other words, it is legal to gambling at online casinos for real money and sportsbooks in Virginia. It became legal as soon as the Virginia General Assembly and Senate passed the SB 384 and HB 896 bills into law. In the past, most citizens of Virginia had to rely on off-shore online betting platforms to gamble. With the recent approval, all that has ended.
Considering that physical sportsbooks operating was legalized recently in VA, the online betting platforms would fill in the gap until they launch. Online sportsbooks and casinos hoping to operate in the state must be approved by the Virginia Lottery Board.
What Would the State of Virginia Gain from Legalizing Casino Gambling?
The state of Virginia will gain a lot in revenue from the operations of casinos in the state. Casino business generates a lot of income annually. It is estimated that the construction of each casino resort would cost not less than $200 million. Also, it is estimated that these casinos will generate at least $970 million as net worth annually.
Finally, the unemployment index in Virginia will also drop. Casinos employ a lot of people too. For instance, the Bally’s casino resort is expected to employ more than 1,000 full-time jobs upon completion.