Danville casino referendum passes

WDBJ7's Kendall Davis reports
Published: Nov. 3, 2020 at 7:59 PM EST
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - A referendum in the city of Danville to open a Caesars casino passed Tuesday night, according to elections officials.

With all 17 precincts reporting, there are 13,022 votes yes and 5,941 no.

The question on the ballot read as follows:

“Shall casino gaming be permitted at a casino gaming establishment in the City of Danville, Virginia at 1100 West Main Street, Danville, Virginia 24541 (former Dan River Mills Schoolfield Division Site) as may be approved by the Virginia Lottery Board?”

The new facility will find a home at the former Dan River Mills industrial complex in Schoolfield.

Danville and Caesars Entertainment signed a development agreement in September that outlined what Caesars promised to deliver if the referendum passed. A few of the highlights can be seen below:

  • "Construct a Caesars-branded resort casino with a minimum of $400 million in capital investment, to include multiple restaurants and bars, a hotel with 300 four-star guest rooms, a 35,000 square-foot conference center, a 2,500-seat live-entertainment venue, a pool, and a spa. The resort is expected to be open in 2023.
  • Employ 1,300 full-time equivalent employees, earning an hourly wage of at least $15 per hour.
  • Generate 900 construction jobs during the construction period.
  • Within 30 days of the referendum, pay $15 million to the City.
  • Guarantee a minimum of $5 million in gaming tax revenue each year for every full year Caesars is in operation.
  • Provide an annual supplemental payment directly to the City based on a percentage of net gaming revenue".

According to the City of Danville, $22 million in state-collected gaming tax revenue is expected to be remitted to the city and will be produced from the project by its third year of operation. An additional $12 million in supplemental payments to the City of Danville and $4.2 million in sales, hotel/motel, meals and property taxes are estimated.

“We look forward to fulfilling the trust the voters have placed in us by bringing 1,300 good-paying jobs, tourism dollars and economic development to the city, and we are incredibly excited to begin construction,” said CEO of Caesars Entertainment, Tom Reeg, Tuesday in a statement.

Similar referendums were headed for passage in Bristol, Norfolk and Portsmouth.

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