A gaming consultant based in New Jersey believes that a casino resort in Norfolk won’t bring economic prosperity to the waterfront city.
Cory Morowitz has over 20 years in consulting gaming industry and gave a piece of advice during an Urban Land Institute meeting regarding the casino. They voiced their concern on the 13.25 acres of land sold to the Pamunkey tribe saying it won’t be an attractive venue for other investors.
According to casino.org, Morowitz said that the casinos will become an island to themselves and that people will only drive there for nothing else other than a casino. He further advised that the goal of allowing of commercial casino should be built in mixed complexes that attract developers to invest in retail shopping centers, entertainment, restaurants, and residences.
Other experts are voicing similar concern; Global Market Advisors 2015 white paper “Casinos and the City “advised that modern casinos must integrate themselves. To do so, they should accommodate communities, boost economies and commercial activities, and also become part of the magnificent urban landscape.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam lifted the state ban on a casino when he signed legislation allowing the establishment of commercial gaming in five cities. They include Norfolk, Richmond, Portsmouth, Danville, and Bristol. In September, Norfolk City Council approved the sale of land to the Pamunkey tribe at the cost of $10 million.
Pamunkey tribe is to build a $700 million casino, which would host 4,000 slot machines and 225 table games. The resort is also to include a 500 room hotel, restaurants, entertainment, and convention space. The tribe estimate that the facility creates jobs that will account for $200 million payrolls annually.
The Norfolk casino resort is receiving opposing from a local residents who are concerned that the facility won’t bring the said economic benefit. While the sale of land is almost done, a group by the name “Citizens for an Informed Norfolk Committee” has collected enough signature to force the council to reconsider the property sale.