Members of Danville City Council voted unanimously on a resolution that advances the consideration of legislative changes that could bring a casino to Southside.
A statement from the city said the resolution is “in support of legislation in the upcoming General Assembly session that would enable and require a local referendum on construction of a casino resort in Bristol, Danville and other specified localities.”
United Company of Bristol first pitched the project to City Council in October. Since then, Chmura Economics and Analytics has prepared an independent employment and fiscal impact analysis of a casino resort with hotel, restaurants, entertainment and convention space.
The Chmura study produced the following numbers:
- A one-time economic impact of $118.7 million and 182 jobs for the renovation and construction of a casino resort.
- In 2022, the project would generate 2,534 direct and indirect/induced jobs.
- By 2028, the project would grow to 5,426 direct jobs and 1,408 indirect/induced jobs.
- In 2022, the project would generate a direct and indirect/induced economic impact of $384.8 million.
- By 2028, the direct economic impact would grow to $909 million, with another $183 million in indirect/induced impact.
- In 2022, the project would generate $12.1 million in local taxes.
- By 2028, the local taxes would grow to $20.3 million.
“I think that they should just outweigh what could go wrong with it and what could go right with it and whatever outweighs what, that’s what they should do with it,” says Chatham resident Jakob Harville. “I’m fine if it comes, if it brings more opportunity into the area.”
Council members discussed the possibility of revenue from a casino going towards public education and public safety.
“For me, it’s a no brainer. If we don’t allow our citizens this opportunity, it’s a great injustice to our citizens,” said council member James Buckner.
If the legislation is approved by the General Assembly, it would go to a public vote. Ultimately, the people of Danville will have the winning hand when it comes to the casino’s development.