Casino Set To Be Built Near Harbor Park After Vote
Norfolk City Council has voted in favor of building a casino near Harbor Park. The total votes were 7 to 1 in favor of the new casino.
All council members voted in support of the agenda except councilwoman Andria McClellan.
The votes will see the Pamunkey Native American Tribe build a casino close to Harbor Park.
Despite the vote, some citizens are against the new casino, and following the voting last Tuesday, three citizens spoke with Norfolk Circuit Court Clerk George Schaefer to ask for a repeal on the deal.
Schaefer said they need at least 4000 signatures from people against the casino in 30 days. According to Schaefer, the signatures would need to be certified, and presented to a judge and city council.
In light of that, Schaefer said, “They can amend. They can negotiate. They can repeal. They have all sorts of options, or they can let this go on and see if there’s a referendum election.”
Opposition And Supporters
Those against the casino fear that it will push public safety to its limits and that they have not done detailed research on the implications of the casino in the area.
On the other hand, supporters are of the opinion that the launch of a casino will be great for the city economically. Supporters say that this is one deal that will bring millions of dollars, jobs, and economic improvement to the city. City members in favor of the casino cited the above-mentioned reasons as part of the factors why they are in support of the idea.
Part of the deal struck between the city manager and the tribe includes a $10 million for the land, and also a 4% payment of all the cash earned via gambling.
The Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander had this to say in light of the vote;
“What is before the Norfolk City Council is not a stand-alone gaming facility, but a $700 million resort hotel casino and spa that will include at minimum 750 gaming machines, 25 gaming tables, a luxury hotel, at least three upscale restaurants, a 750-seat entertainment facility, and a waterfront promenade. This will encompass 13.4 acres on the east side of Harbor Park that will be purchased from the City at its appraised value of $9,937,500. The Tribe will be responsible for all costs associated with the construction of the project, including infrastructure, flood mitigation, parking, and utility improvements. After the sale of land closes, the Tribe will pay the City $125,000 per year until the casino opens. After the casino opens, the Tribe will pay the City 4% of net gaming revenues with a minimum payment of $3 million per year.”