In Virginia, negotiations are reportedly nearing completion on a development agreement with Caesars Virginia, a subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment Corp. (CZR:NASDAQ) as the city of Danville’s chosen casino gaming operator.

The update comes after in mid-July, Virginia Lottery officials approved a casino proposal that would see the Las Vegas-based gaming company build and operate a $400 million casino resort at the former Dan River Mills industrial complex (pictured below, left) in the Danville neighborhood of Schoolfield.

Development agreement:

According to the source, Danville City Manager Ken Larking said…

“From the beginning, the City has taken seriously its responsibility to make sure that, should the citizens vote in favor of casino gaming, it would be implemented in the best possible way. This development agreement is the culmination of months of work to make sure that this project will be of the highest quality, producing several good-paying jobs, and bringing much-needed revenue to the City.”

The development agreement, according to Larking, will be brought before the city’s governing body for its consideration during its meeting on the 1st of September.

A legally binding document, the contract outlines what Caesars has promised to provide Danville should voters approve the casino gaming referendum on November 3.

Highlights of the development agreement include:

  • Construct a Caesars-branded resort casino with a $400 million (minimum) in capital investment, to include multiple restaurants and bars, a hotel with 300 four-star guest rooms, a 35,000 sq ft conference center, a 2,500-seat live-entertainment venue, a pool, and a spa. The envisioned resort is expected to open in 2023.
  • Employ 1,300 full-time equivalent employees, earning an hourly wage of at least $15 per hour.
  • Generate 900 construction jobs during the construction period.
  • Pay $15 million to the City, within 30 days of the referendum
  • Guarantee a minimum of $5 million in gaming tax revenue each year for every full year Caesars is in operation.
  • Provide an annual supplemental payment directly to the City based on a percentage of net gaming revenue.

Anticipated revenue:

The city manager said that based on estimates from Caesars and reviewed by New Orleans-based consulting firm Convergence Strategy Group, it is expected that by the third year of operation the project will “produce $22 million in state-collected gaming tax revenue remitted to the City of Danville,” supplemental payments in the amount of $12 million to the City, and another $4.2 million in sales, meals, hotel/motel and property taxes, according to the news agency.

Advisory committee:

Larking also reportedly said that an advisory committee had been formed for the purpose of receiving and reviewing community feedback on ways in which potential new revenues can be best invested to have the greatest long-term impact on the entire community.

Members, said Larking, were selected based on their backgrounds in areas including poverty and financial stability, at-risk populations, historic preservation, public safety, economic development, tourism (inclduing sports tourism), housing, early childhood development, and educations.

He reportedly added that the 11-person committee was not formed for the purpose of advocating either for or against the November casino referendum.

Court issues order:

Earlier this month, after the City Council voted to petition the court by resolution, Danville Circuit Court Judge Joseph Milam issued an order officially placing the referendum on casino gaming on the ballot for the November 3 General Election. The court further found that the referendum question…

“Shall casino gaming be permitted at a casino gaming establishment in the City of Danville, Virginia, at 1100 West Main Street, Danville, Virginia 24541(former Dan River Mills Schoolfield Division Site) as approved by the Virginia Lottery Board?”

… adequately identifies the location of the proposed casino gaming establishment and is worded as required by Virginia Code.