The city of Petersburg is set to take a significant step in the process of potentially hosting a casino. On February 12, the city will begin the paperwork process, pending the approval of a casino referendum. This move comes after the passage of a bill by the Virginia Senate, which would add Petersburg to a list of five cities authorized to host casinos.
As part of the initial paperwork process, the City of Petersburg will send out a Request for Proposal (RFP) to potential casino developers. This RFP will seek bids for a “comprehensive economic development project” that includes a destination resort, real estate development, retail, event venue, and casino. This step represents a fresh approach for Petersburg, which faced criticism for a lack of transparency in the previous year’s attempt to choose a casino vendor.
The passage of the bill by the Virginia Senate and its expected passage by the House of Delegates could pave the way for Petersburg to hold a vote on the casino as soon as November. However, lawmakers have emphasized the importance of transparency in the process, hoping that Petersburg will fulfill its promise in this regard.
Senator Lashrecse Aird, who played a pivotal role in advocating for Petersburg’s inclusion as a host city in the General Assembly legislation, led a coalition of senators to sponsor the placement of Petersburg on the list of authorized casino hosts. The city’s new approach and the collaborative efforts between officials and Senator Aird have been praised as a legislative milestone.
Overall, Petersburg’s move to send out a Request for Proposal marks a significant step in the potential development of a casino in the city. With legislative and executive obstacles being potentially removed, the city could be heading towards a vote on the casino in the near future.