Pamunkey Tribe casino resort proposal moves forward
In Virginia, the City of Norfolk on Monday signed a $10 agreement with the Pamunkey Indian Tribe for the purchase of 13.4-acres of land to be used for the development of a waterside resort casino.
Also signed by both the city and the tribe, a development agreement will help to facilitate regulation of the partnership during the casino’s development on the east side of the Harbor Park stadium in downtown Norfolk on the Elizabeth River.
According to CBS-affiliated television station WTKR News 3, Norfolk City manager Dr. Larry “Chip” Filer said in a recently released statement…
“I am pleased to announce that we have reached mutually agreeable terms with the Pamunkey Indian Tribe to pursue a resort project that will conform and comply with commercial gaming legislation being considered in Virginia.”
The signing on Monday comes after over a year of negotiation between the City Council and the tribe, with the former first discussing the project in August 2018 and announced that December. After more that a year’s worth of consideration, on September 24, 2019, the Norfolk City Council voted to grant the city manager authority to execute both the option-to-purchase agreement and the developmental agreement with the Pamunkey Indian Tribe.
Tribal vs commercial:
According to Councilwoman, Andria McClellan, the benefits of opening a casino under commercial gambling laws instead of waiting on federal approvals for a tribal casino means that…
“The city would be able to have the income from local taxes, from lodging taxes, from meals and beverage taxes from sales taxes, from admission taxes and property taxes.”
However, before the city and state could begin to reap the benefits the General Assembly first has to legalize gambling in Virginia during its next session from January 8 – March 7, 2020. If and when that happens, “it would be required to have a referendum city-wide in November and at that point the voters can have their say whether or not the city should have a casino,” McClellan said.
Key terms of the Option to Purchase Agreement reportedly include: