Commercial Gaming

Caesars Entertainment Says Danville Casino Has Widespread Local Support

Caesars Entertainment has unveiled a list of more than 100 local businesses that support its mission to bring Danville, Va., a casino resort.

Caesars Entertainment officials are pledging to Danville voters that a casino on the grounds of a former textile mill will be the economic jumpstart the city desperately needs. (Image: Chatham Star-Tribune)

On November 3, voters will be asked if they approve of allowing a commercial casino property to come to the area. If the local referendum receives a simple majority, Caesars would be cleared to move forward with its proposed $400 million investment. The Danville City Council previously choose Ceasars as the operator.

Caesars says over 100 businesses have publicly lent their support to the development.

This is a great opportunity for Danville and the surrounding area. It means an increase in jobs, revenue, and an attraction for people to visit our region to support our local businesses,” said Pete Hairston, owner of Bro Pete’s restaurant.

Caesars wants to repurpose the Dan River textile complex into a casino and entertainment destination. The casino giant has pledged to share with Danville a minimum of $5 million annually in gaming taxes and expects to pay upwards of $4 million each year in local property, hotel, and sales taxes.

Real Estate Backing

Critics of bringing casinos to new markets claim gambling results in lower real estate valuations. Not so, says one Danville realtor.

Hampton Wilkins says a casino will increase tourism and only benefit the market. He owns Wilkins & Co. Realtors, one of the region’s largest real estate firms.

For decades, our region has looked for ways to attract tourists to our area. The referendum is our opportunity, and we can’t miss out on it,” Wilkins declared. “I’ve worked on tourism for 30 years in Danville, and all of a sudden, they’re putting it in our lap.”

Rick Barker Properties, James Sparks Rental Properties, Marshall Apartment Rentals, and Red Door Properties are additionally supporting the Danville casino.

Economic Boom

If approved, the Danville casino will bring 900 construction jobs to the region, and a subsequent 1,300 full-time permanent positions, Caesars Entertainment announced earlier this month.

The casino says each permanent worker will be paid a minimum of $15 per hour. The per capita income for Danville residents in 2019 was just $22,200 — which equates to around $11.28 on a full-time schedule.

Caesars Danville would come with a minimum of 300 four-star hotel rooms, multiple restaurants and bars, 35,000 square feet of conference space, a 2,500-seat entertainment venue, a spa, and a casino with slot machines, table games, a poker room, and sportsbook.

Caesars says a “Yes” vote on the casino referendum is a vote “for jobs and tens of millions in new tax revenue for Danville.”

“Casino resorts provide stable employment for the host community and region,” the company said. “These are not just jobs — they are opportunities for careers with a global company that invests in its employees and is committed to a promote-from-within culture.”

Devin O'Connor

Gaming Legislation, Politics, Casino Business, Entertainment----Devin O’Connor’s passion for politics and background in the world of pop culture television give him insight into the gaming industry backstories that often drive news these days. After graduating from Penn State University with a theater arts degree, he worked at MTV Networks/Viacom from 2005 to 2010 as a writer and producer, where his credits included Total Request Live, New Year's Eve specials, and a special featuring poker superstar Daniel Negreanu. He later moved on to the HGTV/DIY Network, where he created, wrote, and produced three series specials: That's So House Hunters, That's So 80s, and That's So 90s. Devin came on board with in 2014. He lives in Pennsylvania, and is an avid marathoner, having completed 15 races to date. Email:

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  • Danville utilities cannot even support outages from a minor ice storm. How will it ever support another huge building? Businesses pay half of what customers pay. I guess we just are not important. What if someone has life support equipment in their home? They can't keep going to the emergency room. My guess is that no one cares.

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