Virginia Gov. Denies Petersburg On line casino Invoice Tied to Potomac Yard


Posted on: March 20, 2024, 12:39h. 

Final up to date on: March 20, 2024, 09:43h.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) says he gained’t tie the Petersburg on line casino invoice that’s on his desk to his pushing of a $2 billion sports activities area in Alexandria often called the Potomac Yard Leisure District.

Virginia Petersburg casino Potomac Yard
A rendering of the Potomac Yard Leisure District with Reagan Worldwide Airport within the distance. Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) says he gained’t tie the Petersburg on line casino invoice to the controversial sports activities advanced in Alexandria. (Picture: Monumental Sports activities & Leisure/Getty/On line casino.org)

The Virginia Normal Meeting despatched laws to the governor earlier this month requesting that Petersburg be certified to contemplate a business gaming resort. The invoice was championed by Senate President Professional Tempore L. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth), some of the highly effective Democratic lawmakers within the commonwealth.

Youngkin has remained uncommitted to the Petersburg on line casino push regardless of the governor launching his “Partnership for Petersburg” program designed to enhance the town’s financial well being and the lives of residents.

We’ll see,” Youngkin mentioned when requested by The Progress-Index about whether or not he’ll signal Senate Invoice 628.

SB 628 would permit Petersburg to area aggressive bids for a on line casino resort improvement. As soon as metropolis officers decide a scheme, the proposal would go earlier than native voters the place a easy majority would want to lend their backing to the initiative.

Potential Roadblocks

Legislative efforts to designate Petersburg for a on line casino started after Richmond voters first rejected a on line casino in the course of the November 2021 election. Capital metropolis residents voted in opposition to a proposed on line casino for a second time in the course of the November 2023 election.

Richmond’s opposition to a Las Vegas-style on line casino resort prompted lawmakers to maneuver the on line casino license south some 25 miles to Petersburg. The legislature acquired behind the drive after Lucas lent her assist.

Lucas, nevertheless, is likely one of the most outspoken opponents of the Potomac Yard Leisure District, which might develop into the brand new dwelling of the NBA’s Washington Wizards and NHL’s Washington Capitals. Youngkin desires to spend taxpayer cash to assist billionaire Ted Leonis and Monumental Sports activities & Leisure relocate his skilled sports activities groups from Washinton, DC’s Capital One Area to Alexandria.

Hypothesis has lately surfaced that Youngkin would possibly use the Petersburg on line casino invoice as a bargaining chip for the sports activities advanced. Except Lucas lifts her opposition to Potomac Yard, the governor won’t signal SB 628.

Youngkin rejected these claims this week.

I’m not holding something as a part of a negotiation on the Potomac Yard improvement,” Younkin advised reporters on Tuesday. “It’s a spectacular mission. It stands by itself.

“It’s compelling for all the commonwealth, and subsequently, we must always do it,” Youngkin declared.

Youngkin Questions Revote

Whereas Youngkin claims he gained’t take the Petersburg on line casino invoice hostage till he will get his approach with the Potomac Yard endeavor, the governor did elevate issues as to why Home lawmakers included an modification to the laws that requires it to endure a second vote throughout a “subsequent common or particular election.” The governor additionally desires to fulfill with Petersburg Mayor Sam Parham, metropolis officers, and the group to gauge their assist for a on line casino enterprise.

Why was there a reenactment clause positioned on [the bill]? What does the mayor suppose? What do the town councilmembers suppose?” Youngkin requested. “I’m digging in and chatting with of us significantly engaged on this as to why the laws is the place it’s.”

Parham and the Petersburg Metropolis Council have already publicly declared their backing.

“I ask for [the governor’s] assist,” Parham mentioned lately. “The individuals of Petersburg are actually excited to see this transfer via.”

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