Despite bill dying in Senate, Petersburg residents could still have chance to vote on casino

Posted at 11:16 PM, Feb 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-02 23:16:15-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- A Senate committee has killed a bill that would give Petersburg residents a chance to vote on a casino. The bill, sponsored by Senator Joe Morrisey, would add Petersburg to the list of Virginia cities eligible to host a casino.

Voters have approved casinos in Bristol, Danville, Norfolk and Portsmouth, but Richmond voters rejected it. Morrissey's bill would also prevent Richmond from having another go at the opportunity.

The bill contained a stipulation that any city that has already held a vote on a casino and is within 25 miles of an eligible city must wait until that other city has had its vote within this year.

Richmond, in theory, would have the chance to offer a referendum after 2023.

However, there is a companion bill that is still alive in the House and if it passes, it would have another chance in the Senate.

Morrissey said he's not losing hope at this point.

"Many, many games are won, not just in the fourth quarter. Okay, many games are won in the final two minutes. And you know something, we're not even to the fourth quarter yet. So I remain guardedly optimistic," Morrissey said.

The companion casino bill is on the agenda of the House Appropriation Committee for Friday.

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