A sixth venue for potential casino projects may emerge in Hampton with the city making a strong push to join Richmond, Danville, Bristol, Norfolk and Portsmouth as potential casino city.
Hampton Looks to Secure Casino License
Hampton does not want to miss out on the casino bonanza that has seized five cities in Virginia, to name Richmond, Danville, Bristol, Norfolk, and Portsmouth. In fact, Hampton has no intentions of missing out on the legalization of casinos, and has already outlined a request to be considered as a sixth potential location to host casinos, assisted by Two Capitols Consulting.
Hampton has done its due diligence, determining that three casinos located in Hampton Roads should be sustainable and have a positive economic impact on the region. In fact, city officials are hopeful that they would be able to garner an approval for a casino license during the General Assembly session later this year.
Mayor Donnie Tuck is among those proponents who see the upside of joining other cities in playing host to casinos. The initiative to host a casino comes as part of multiple legislative requests and Hampton has already successfully applied for permission to host gaming and betting venues before.
Rosie’s Emporium and Oversaturating the Market
In January 2019, the Hampton City Council gave go-ahead to the Rosie’s Gaming Emporium, a hybrid venue that allows off-track betting and culinary experience and is the closest the city has seen to a casino.
The property sprawls on 40,000 square feet and nestles in the space formerly occupied by NASCAR Sports Grille and Luckie’s Dueling Pianos, and a brand new building. Rosie’s Emporium opened doors in November 2019, bringing gaming fever with it.
The arrival of Rosie’s Emporium was a presage for the city’s appetite to expand into casino gaming. Speaking back in November 2019, Mayor Tuck said that Hampton should host at least one casino owing to Hampton’s unique position as center of the region.
Tuck confirmed that the additional revenue would go well with the city’s ambitions to boost economic development projects that are still being identified. Not everyone has been too fond of building casinos en masse, though.
Old Dominion University economics professor Bob McNab said that while casinos may attract plenty of tourist dollar, they can just as easily deplete local businesses of revenue. McNab expects the gambling market to become oversaturated:
“If you have casinos in Hampton Roads, in Portsmouth and now likely in Danville and horse racing in Richmond and casinos in Maryland, the casino space it’s becoming quite crowded.”-Old Dominion University economics professor Bob McNab
In order for casinos in Hampton and elsewhere to be sustainable, Virginia will have to work for attracting a huge crowd from across the state border to make things work. Otherwise, gambling venues will end up in a war of attrition with one another.