With Caesars Virginia in Danville set to open soon, officials estimate the casino could bring in major dollars to the city.
Danville believes the Virginia casino will generate $12.1 million in revenue for the city in the next fiscal year. Of that number, officials expect close to $8 million of it to come from local gaming tax revenue.
“I’m excited about the fact that we are going, as a community we have,” city manager Ken Larking said during a press conference.
“We are going to use this opportunity to help better the lives of the people who live in Danville.”
How will Danville spend its dollars from Caesars Virginia?
A current city budget proposal outlines how Danville should allocate its Caesars Virginia dollars. And schools and other avenues that could help boost economic development sit atop that list.
During a press conference last week, Larking said that when it comes to spending, the city should listen to the Investing in Danville Committee.
“When it comes to casino revenues, if it’s not guaranteed, we need to be careful about how we use those funds,” Larking said.
What is more concrete, however, is the state-collected local gaming tax revenue. Larking’s budget outlines that of the $8 million projected tax revenue, close to $2.8 million should go toward economic development initiatives. Danville Public Schools would receive around $2.5 million. The remaining funds would then be divided as such:
- $840,000 for police department headquarters
- $800,000 for blight removal
- $467,000 for gang prevention programs
- $252,000 for summer internship programs
- $105,000 to complete the Plan Danville effort
- $96,000 for rental inspection districts
Larking’s theory behind backing the Investing in Danville Committee lies in long-term sustainability.
“The goal for the Investing in Danville Committee recommendations is that, when we make investments in things like this, it likely will produce long-term sustainable revenue sources.”
After Larking’s budget, that leaves about $4.1 million from the original $12.1 million projection. The remaining funds would go toward “general governmental operations,” according to a release from the city.
Danville revenue expected to surge once permanent Caesars casino opens
Customers won’t have to wait long to enjoy Virginia’s lone Caesars casino. Caesars Virginia expects to partially open later this summer in July.
The permanent casino will open in 2024.
Danville’s temporary casino is located along West Main Street at the former Dan River Mills site.
The city estimates that once the full, permanent Caesars Virginia casino opens in 2024, that $12.1 million could skyrocket. Projections indicate the city could see more than $39 million.
“I think with this opportunity, you know if we do it right, the people of Danville will reap great benefit,” Larking said. “From the economic opportunity that we’re bringing to them, and the great quality of life, and the job opportunities.”
We’ve seen a similar impact when it comes to Virginia’s two other casinos: Rivers Casino Portsmouth and Bristol Casino — Future Home of Hard Rock. Each casino leans on hundreds of its respective residential employees for day-to-day operations.
Caesars Virginia not limiting its job search to just Danville
The Danville casino has more than 400 job openings. That includes gaming dealers, cocktail servers, cashiers, finance and more. Caesars Virginia General Manager Chris Albrecht told WFMY News 2 that the casino isn’t just looking in Danville for these positions, though.
“We’ve been in Caswell County, we’ve been in Greensboro, we went with the Chambers, we met with a lot of the colleges and universities that are ready. So we are looking for talented individuals not just here in Danville, but from the entire region of Virginia surrounding us here in Virginia and North Carolina region.”
For those interesting in applying, visit the Caesars Virginia website to see a full list of job openings.
Danville casino expected to help fuel tourism
Previous reports estimate that the Caesars casino in Danville will bring around 2 million tourists once it officially opens.
The Virginia Tourism Corp. believes most people who travel to the area are there for friends and family. The group estimates that around 14% come for entertainment purposes.
Lisa K. Meriwhether, the town’s tourism manager, said that she believes casino goers will add to the city’s outdoor activities.
“We also know that 8% of those visitors enjoy our destination’s outdoor recreation facilities. Once the Caesars resort opens, this will mean more and more visitors enjoying our award-winning 11.5-mile Riverwalk Trail, Dan Daniel Memorial Park and 35-mile Anglers Ridge mountain-biking trails that are rates in the top 10 bike trails in Virginia.”
Danville boasts a number of parks, including Ballout Park, Dan Daniel Memorial Park and Coates Park. There’s an art trail, too, and more than 25 neighborhood parks with play equipment.