Danville City Council Looks To Fund Capital Projects With Casino Revenue

Written By Phil West on February 28, 2024
Danville City Council looks to use casino tax revenue on capital projects.

If the Danville City Council gets its way, tax revenue from the temporary Caesars Virginia casino could go to fund capital projects in the city it calls home.

At last week’s meeting, the council proposed a new ordinance that would draw $2 million from casino tax revenue to help finance a pair of capital projects.

WSET-TV reported the Council sought “$1 million to go towards constructing a new splash pad at Ballou Park and the other million to go towards the design and placement of underground electric lines along West Main Street in front of the casino and adjacent properties.”

Council expected to decide issue on March 5

Caesars Danville is one of three casinos currently operating in the state. A casino project in Norfolk has been stalled for several years. But operators look to break ground on the casino complex this spring. Virginia online casinos remain illegal.

City Councilman Lee Vogler told WSET-TV that council wants everyone in the community to benefit from the casino.

“It wasn’t just about, ‘Hey, let’s have a casino come here,’ but what does this mean for the community as a whole? And even if you never got [in] that casino, you never step foot in it, how can you benefit from this being here in Danville? So, these types of projects help us achieve that goal.”

The Danville City Council next convenes on March 5. Should it approve the proposal, Vogler indicated work on both projects would commence as soon as possible.

Danville on pace to receive more than $13M in taxes from casino in first year

Last month, Caesars Virginia generated $17.2 million of the $52.9 million that went to the state, according to the Virginia Lottery. That included $1.03 million earmarked for its host city.

In December alone, the state collected $59 million in tax revenue. Danville received $1.2 million of that.

The million-dollars-a-month revenue is in line with projections made in June. Danville was expected to collect $12 million from casino taxes in the first year. The temporary casino opened in May, bringing phenomenal initial business that put it on pace to generate more than $15 million in tax revenue for the city by May 2024.

Danville has received $9.9 million in the eight and a half months since it’s been in operation, which would be north of $13 million for the year should the casino maintain its monthly average.

Caesars’ permanent casino set to open this year

According to the Caesars Virginia website, the permanent casino is expected to open later this year and will include:

“a 500-room hotel and a world-class casino gaming floor with over 1,300 slots, 85 live table games, 24 electronic table games, a WSOP poker room and a Caesars Sportsbook. In addition, the resort will feature a full-service spa, pool, high-quality bars and restaurants, a 2,500-seat state-of-the-art live entertainment theater and 40,000 square feet of meeting and convention space.”

The site, in addition to bringing in gamblers from around the commonwealth, is also located close to several major metro areas in neighboring North Carolina. It will be just 75 minutes from the Research Triangle (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill) and two hours from Charlotte.

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Phil West

Phil West is a longtime journalist based in Austin, Texas, whose bylines have appeared in The Daily Dot, Nautilus, Pro Soccer USA, Howler, Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Antonio Express-News, Austin American-Statesman, and Austin Chronicle. He has also written two books about soccer.

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