A proposed $400 million casino in Danville, Virginia, has a plan in place. As of Monday it also has a partner.
Now the city just needs its voters to say yes.
Virginia’s path to having legal casino gaming got some needed clout as Danville officials announced they were negotiating with Caesars Entertainment on the city’s casino proposal.
Danville, just a few miles from the North Carolina border and about 75 miles southeast of Roanoke, has a population of just over 42,000. The location would be well away from the other proposed casinos in the state and within 60 miles of medium-sized cities in North Carolina such as Durham and Greensboro.
Danville named Caesars as the project’s “preferred operator” according to a report in Virginia Business on Monday.
Caesars, going through a merger with Eldorado that is expected to be finished this summer, adds a depth of casino expertise to the Danville project.
The casino would include 2,000 slot machines, 75 table games, a sportsbook and 16 poker tables, according to the Virginia Business report. The entire scope of the project is much more than just the casino itself — it would include 500 hotel rooms, an entertainment center with a 2,500 seat live venue, restaurants, bars and 500 hotel rooms.
The Danville project would be at the site of the former Dan River Mills industrial complex. City leaders estimate that the casinos would be expected to generate more than $30 million in annual revenue.
The entire proposal is contingent on a referendum in November. The Virginia legislature approved five cities to pursue casino projects in a state where there are no casinos or sportsbooks currently operating. Each of those cities — Danville, Richmond, Bristol, Norfolk and Portsmouth — must approve of their casino projects individually in separate referendum.
Last month, the Virginia legislature approved of not only the casino measures, but of sports betting at those casinos as well as a crucial mobile sports betting market. The sports betting provisions would allow for up to 12 online sports betting licenses as well as the five for the proposed casinos.
Danville is just one Virginia casino project with a planned partner. The city of Portsmouth, next to Norfolk, is supporting a deal with Rush Street Gaming LLC for a proposal.
Another planned Virginia casino project in Bristol, on the Tennessee border, is ongoing with Hard Rock International as its partner.