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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Danville city remains unfazed as North Carolina considers casino legalization

Danville city remains unfazed as North Carolina considers casino legalization

Publish Date: 07/30/2023
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

City leaders of Danville, Virginia, remain unfazed by neighboring North Carolina’s potential move to legalize commercial casinos. Currently, North Carolina lawmakers are considering legislation permitting up to three casinos near the Virginia border.

However, Danville stays confident in its own $650 million investment from Caesars Entertainment to build the new Caesars Virginia integrated resort. The city leaders see the casino as a great opportunity for growth, unaffected by the developments across the border.

When asked about potential concerns regarding casino legalization efforts in North Carolina, local officials in Danville responded with assurance. They are confident in the choice of Caesars as the casino developer.

“The Caesars brand, the Caesars name, is second to none. We feel good about what we have and what we will have in the years to come.”

Lee Vogler, Danville City Councilor

According to Danville City Councilor Lee Vogler, they chose Caesars in the first place because they asserted that it would address any potential concerns.

“The Caesars brand, the Caesars name, is second to none,” Vogler said. “We feel good about what we have and what we will have in the years to come.”

Voters’ solid support for Caesars

In 2020, Virginia’s gaming law empowered several cities, including Richmond, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Bristol and Danville, to seek voter approval for commercial casino resorts.

The objective was to boost the regional economy, leading to Danville’s local government conducting a competitive bidding process to select a gaming operator. Caesars emerged as the chosen operator, winning the city’s sole gaming opportunity.

During the November 2020 election, Danville voters were asked if they supported granting permission to Caesars to construct an integrated resort casino on the former Dan River Mills textile campus. The initiative garnered strong support, with nearly 69 percent of the votes favoring the casino.

Danville city manager Ken Larking said Caesars secured the bid for the casino project because they presented the most promising economic prospects for the city, and their renowned brand was also an advantage.

Despite potential casino legalization in North Carolina, local officials are confident in Caesars’ continued dominance in the South Virginia gaming market, believing it can still attract visitors from the neighboring state.

Caesars Virginia made a strong start by opening its temporary Danville Casino on May 15. In its first full month of operation, the Danville Casino earned an impressive gross gaming revenue (GGR) of $18.9 million, with slots contributing $14.3 million to the total.

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