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Betting.net / Fairfax county considers casino proposal amid skepticism

Fairfax county considers casino proposal amid skepticism

Publish Date: December 30, 2023
Fact checked by: Jesse M Cox
Stock Photo, tags: fairfax casino - images.unsplash.com

Stock Photo – images.unsplash.com

In response to the emergence of casinos along Virginia’s southern border, legislators are considering the idea of introducing casino gambling to the affluent northern Virginia region.

Senator David Marsden of Fairfax plans to reintroduce legislation for a referendum on a casino in Fairfax County, with added amenities like a convention center and hotel. Targeting Tysons Corner but open to any site near a Silver Line Metro station, Marsden believes the project, also beneficial to Dulles Airport and job creation, could bolster Fairfax County’s post-pandemic economic recovery.

This initiative surfaces amidst voter skepticism about casino gambling, as evidenced by the rejection of casino proposals in Richmond and Manassas Park last November.

Fairfax County Supervisor Walter Alcorn, representing Reston, criticizes the idea of a casino along the Silver Line. Alcorn cites it as a misuse of prime real estate. He also raises concerns about the influence of pro-casino funding in potential referendums.

Despite opposition, there’s a significant lobbying push for the casino. Comstock, a development company, has formed a political action committee, Building a Remarkable Virginia, to support the initiative.

Virginia has seen casinos open in Danville, Bristol, and Portsmouth following voter approval since 2020. A 2019 study suggested that a northern Virginia casino could significantly outperform a Richmond casino in tax revenue generation.

The bill has garnered support at both state and local levels. Senate Majority Leader Scott Surovell expresses frustration over Maryland benefiting from Virginia patrons in its casinos. Local officials, including some Fairfax County board members, are open to a referendum.

Board member Pat Herrity sees the potential in combining a casino with a needed convention center. Dalia Palchik, representing Tysons Corner, is open to the idea, particularly for bringing a convention center to the area.

Board Chairman Jeff McKay remains noncommittal, awaiting formal legislation introduction. However, the Vienna Town Council has already expressed strong opposition, citing potential negative impacts on traffic and community well-being. Governor Glenn Youngkin has not commented on his stance regarding the proposed casino legislation.

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