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Pamunkey tribe buys over 600 New Kent acres; still pursuing Va. casino plan

Posted at 4:02 PM, Apr 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-23 16:02:52-04

NEW KENT, Va. – The Pamunkey Indian Tribe has purchased over 600 acres just off Quinton exit 205 in New Kent, as they proceed with their plan to develop Virginia’s first casino.

In March, the tribal council approved of a plan to build a $700 million development featuring a casino, hotel, spa, and performance venue.

There was an opportunity to purchase the parcel in New Kent, though the tribe is not certain that this parcel will be developed as a casino and resort, the tribe said. The King William-based tribe said they are also purchasing land that will be used for housing and education purposes.

The Pamunkey tribe is "moving forward aggressively" with the casino and resort plan, they said.

Though the land acquisition in Central Virginia is confirmed, the tribe is still actively looking at many options. The tribe can purchase land in Virginia for a casino that is approved by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs as former tribal territory.

The purchased property in New Kent is about 30 minutes from Richmond, and is mostly north of Interstate 64.

(Pamunkey Tribe)

The economic impact of a casino development this size is expected to reach $10 billion over ten years. The tribe said the casino could create 4,000 full-time jobs in eastern Virginia.

Plans indicate that the development would have over 1,200 rooms, a luxury spa, 10 dining options, indoor and outdoor pools, a show venue, and corporate and private event spaces.

Any details of a revenue sharing agreement with the state have not been made public at this time.

There are 59 members living on the Pamunkey land in King William County and approximately 350 members across the United States.

In 1982, the Pamunkey Indians applied for federal recognition through the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Office of Federal Acknowledgement. After a long application process, they received federal recognition in 2015 that took effect in early 2016, becoming the only tribe in Virginia at the time to receive such recognition.

Federal recognition provides access to federal grants and programs to increase access to healthcare, educational opportunities, better housing and improved infrastructure. It also allows them to pursue economic development opportunities that will ensure the long-term viability of the tribe. The passage of the Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2017 also granted federal recognition to the Chickahominy,  Eastern Chickahominy,  Upper Mattaponi, Rappahannock, Monacan, and Nansemond tribes.

Land purchased by Pamunkey