An amendment to the Virginia budget permits for a study into the potential revenue of a casino in Petersburg and forbids another Richmond casino referendum until November 2023. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
A distinct possibility
A budget amendment in Virginia has opened the door to the possibility of casinos in Petersburg. Lawmakers in the Senate and House were able to reach a compromise on Wednesday regarding the budget; Governor Glenn Youngkin is set to review the plan.
additional casino referendums in Richmond would be prohibited until at least November 2023
The amendment approves a study by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) to look into the potential revenue a Petersburg casino might generate. If this happens, additional casino referendums in Richmond would be prohibited until at least November 2023.
Bullish local officials
Senator Joe Morrissey and Petersburg Mayor Sam Parham held a joint press conference on Thursday morning to outline the possibility of a casino coming to the city.
Senator Morrissey spoke about how the city has already had preliminary discussions with up to seven casino operators and that “Next year, when we have the JLARC study done, we will then introduce legislation that Petersburg gets the casino.”
The mayor believes that having a casino would create a massive economic boost and a lot more jobs for the city. He said: “This is about transforming the City of Petersburg and for our love and passion for our city and what we want it to look like for many decades to come.”
Richmond not going down without a fight
In nearby Richmond, residents voted against the proposed $562.5m Urban One casino resort last November. In March 2022, a judge approved a request from the city to have another referendum on the matter.
believes that Virginia’s governor supports a casino in Petersburg
During the press conference on Thursday, Senator Morrissey said that it was time for Richmond to move on and that Petersburg would get a lot more benefit from a casino than would Richmond. He believes that Virginia’s governor supports a casino in Petersburg.
The City of Richmond subsequently released a statement with Urban One condemning the budget amendment and saying that they will consider litigation. Governor Youngkin has seven days to review the proposed budget and will then make any recommendations he might have.