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New Virginia Casino Leads to Mixed Feelings for North Carolina’s Leaders

Source: ABC 11, WTVD and CBS 17

North Carolina’s elected leaders will soon decide on the fate of electronic sports betting in our state. In the meantime, a new casino just opened right across the North Carolina – Virginia border in Danville just north of Greensboro and about a 90-minute drive from Raleigh. You can place sports bets there and play live Las Vegas-like casino games.

In partnership with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Caesars Virginia Resort has opened a temporary 40,000-square-foot facility with the permanent facility scheduled to open in 2024. The current facility has over 700 slot machines, 25 live table games and sports betting. 

When all construction is completed this resort will have a 500-room hotel and a world-class casino floor featuring 1,300 slot machines, 85 live table games, 24 electronic table games and a World Series of Poker room. The resort will also have a spa, pool and high-quality bars. If you are hungry for entertainment, the resort will feature restaurants and a 2,500-seat state-of-the-art live entertainment theater. If you are business minded the resort will have meeting and convention space too. 

All of this just happening across the state line means a big economic impact on the state of Virginia via North Carolina residents. During the opening day there were many people from our state making the short trip to, hopefully, win some money. 

“With inflation and everything, people want to find something close to travel to, and they want to enjoy themselves without having to drive or fly miles or a hundred miles away, so this is a perfect location,” said Kendrick Mitchell of Durham.  

Chris Albrecht says the venue will be a significant attraction with Greensboro’s Piedmont Triad International Airport nearby but Raleigh-Durham International Airport with having more direct routes will also have an impact on the casino and the region.

 “We believe Raleigh-Durham will be one of the top airports used to come to visit us,” Albrecht said.

Albrecht said the casino will work to partner with universities in the Triad and Triangle through internship programs next summer and other jobs. One concern from lawmakers is how much money will be drawn out of North Carolina to Virginia casinos and what to do as a response. 

“There is a legitimate concern of the impact the multiple casinos that the folks in the Commonwealth of Virginia are placing right along the North Carolina border,” Senate leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) recently told CBS 17. “The real population centers are south of Danville in North Carolina. So, I think there’s a legitimate concern of a drain from North Carolina into Virginia: of dollars, of business, of people.”

Greater Carolina released a study suggesting that Virginia casinos could gain up to $259 million annually from North Carolina residents. The group has also suggested that North Carolina allow casinos in Rockingham, Anson and Nash counties. The estimate is that $1.6 billion in gross gaming revenue could be generated. North Carolina already has three casinos on tribal land in the western part of the state.

Lawmakers have been talking about the idea of sports betting and casinos off tribal land but it will be interesting to see what happens when the numbers from Virginia come in.

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