Progress on More Virginia Casinos Moving In Fits And Starts

Progress on More Virginia Casinos Moving In Fits And Starts
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

There continues to be some movement in the sometimes halting advance of a bricks-and-mortar casino industry in Virginia.

Besides having a robust market for sports betting in Virginia, the commonwealth also has three traditional casinos up and running. There is a permanent casino in Portsmouth, which has plans to add a hotel. There also are two temporary casino facilities, one in Bristol and one in Danville, with both operations planning grander permanent casinos.

However, two more locales that might see casinos at some point are Norfolk and Richmond.

Of those two, plans in Norfolk appear to be further along but they hit a speed bump this week.

Snag in Norfolk’s Casino Progress

The planned HeadWaters Resort & Casino, promoted as a $500 million casino-hotel next to Norfolk’s Harbor Park, is led by the Pamunkey Indian Tribe. This week, the Tribe was ready to present its application for a Development Certificate to begin construction on the initial phase of the Norfolk project, but that hit a snag.

The casino project’s Facebook page carried the message that, upon the recommendation of the City of Norfolk, HeadWaters Resort & Casino’s development team was not presenting its application for a Development Certificate to begin construction on the initial phase of the project.

Subsequently, a meeting between the developers and the city was scheduled for Tuesday, July 25. There was no substantial news announced as a result of that meeting, but some optimism was expressed.

“The City is committed to this project and we look forward to bringing it to fruition with our partner, the Pamunkey Indian Tribe,” Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Alexander said on the city’s website. “HeadWaters will be a tremendous asset to the city, its residents and the entire Commonwealth and will be (a) premier destination for many.”

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Richmond Leaders Aim For Another Casino Vote

Meanwhile, the Richmond area’s convoluted casino situation has seen a casino project for Richmond turned down by voters there in 2021. Then earlier this year, plans for a casino in nearby Petersburg were derailed by opposition in the state legislature.

Now, Richmond leaders are trying for another casino vote – being called a “do-over” by some – for a city gambling hall. 

On July 25, a Circuit Court judge ruled that another Richmond casino approval question can go on the Nov. 7 ballot.

Reportedly, those plans call for a $562 million facility in the city’s Southside with a messaging emphasis on entertainment rather than gambling. The proposal is supported by Richmond mayor Levar Stoney and city council members.

As casino goers await further news, they can turn to BetVirginia for the best Virginia sportsbook promos and place wagers with their mobile devices.



Bill Ordine was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years. He covered the World Series of Poker for a decade and his articles on gaming have appeared in many major U.S. newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald and others

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