In September, developers announced a proposal to create the Bristol Resort and Casino in Bristol, Virginia, a new venue set to be located on a 49-acre site where the Bristol Mall site has been empty since late 2017. The plans are ambitious and would bring employment as well as revenues to the region, however, church groups are not happy with the thought of gambling in their area.

Weekend Protest Rally:

On Sunday night, hundreds of individuals gathered in the Cumberland Square Park to rally against the casino proposal. Leading the charge were churches from the Tri-Cities including the Belle Meadows Baptist Church, the Fellowship Chapel Parkway Baptist Worship Center, Tennessee Avenue Baptist Church and the Victory Baptist Church.

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The pastors from the churches spoke during the protest, stating that a casino gaming venue would bring ‘evil’ to the city and the region, creating a negative effect on the economy. However, the developers see it differently.

Clyde Stacy and Jim McGlothlin have plans to create the resort casino, which will be home to a gaming venue as well as a hotel and conference center. The project would create around 2,000 employment positions in the beginning and then increase to over 5,000 within a seven-year time frame.

Necessary Approvals:

Last month, the City Council and the city’s school board voted to approve the plan, showing their support for the project. While the support is a positive for the proposal, the decision remains within the hands of the Virginia General Assembly. Before any development can take place, the Assembly will need to legalize casino gambling in 2019.