Virginia Residents in Danville Deciding How Casino Gaming Revenue Will Be Utilized

Posted on: November 8, 2020, 12:30h. 

Last updated on: November 6, 2020, 12:05h.

Officials in the Virginia city of Danville are seeking public input as to how tax revenue generated by a forthcoming casino resort should be used.

Danville Virginia casino Caesars Entertainment
Caesars Entertainment is cleared to transform the decaying Dan River textile mill site in Danville, Virginia, into a casino resort. (Image: WSET)

Danville voters easily supported a local ballot referendum on Election Day asking if they want to authorize a single casino in their town. The economic development project received 69 percent backing from area voters.

Now permitted to proceed with a commercial gaming property, the City of Danville has launched a Community Feedback Survey. It asks residents to help decide how the millions of dollars the casino undertaking will bring in should be allocated for the benefit of the public good.

The purpose of the online survey is to receive feedback from the public about what the City is considering as spending priorities,” the city explains. “Survey results and public comments from the online survey will be given to the ‘Investing in Danville Committee,’ which will work with PFM consulting group to analyze the results and present a final report.”

“The report will include an outline of investments and their fiscal impacts, an overview of community feedback, and specific recommendations for investment priorities,” the city added.

PFM is a Philadelphia-based financial management firm that specializes in economic policy development.

Caesars Partnership

Danville has awarded Caesars Entertainment the rights to develop a casino resort in the city. The casino operator plans to build a $400 million gaming property on the grounds of the former Dan River mill textile complex.

Caesars will pay Danville a one-time upfront payment of $20 million, plus $5 million for the Dan River site, and another $15 million for city infrastructure surrounding the property. Caesars plans to use its Horseshoe brand in Danville, which it utilizes for its regional casinos outside of Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

Horseshoe Danville’s blueprint calls for a casino floor with 2,000 slot machines and 75 table games, a 300-room hotel, multiple restaurants and bars, 35,000 square feet of conference space, a 2,500-seat theatre, and spa.

The survey being offered to Danville residents isn’t about what to do with the upfront $20 million or $15 million infrastructure receipts, but about ongoing tax income from slot machines and table games. Caesars projects that Horseshoe Danville will deliver the city $22 million annually in gaming taxes, plus another $4 million in local taxes from property, meals, and hotel occupancy charges.

Survey Says

The Danville casino revenue survey asks residents to rank in importance eight issues. They are:

  1. City infrastructure improvements
  2. Economic development
  3. Improving community health
  4. Public education
  5. Public safety
  6. Quality housing
  7. Quality of life amenities
  8. The City’s long-term financial stability (Capital Reserve Fund, Budget Stabilization Fund)

Based on the results, Danville’s local leaders will determine where the public wants the gaming money to go.

“We will be working closely with our finance department and financial advisors to make sure whatever we are doing is smart and not being irresponsible with the funding, or project of funding that is coming to the city,” explained Danville City Manager Ken Larking.