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Bill Freehling is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and Fredericksburg.com. This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Bill Freehling.

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Virginia’s neighbors allowing casinos

Virginia’s neighbors are increasingly allowing casinos to open. Maryland’s first casino opened today about 30 minutes north of Baltimore off Interstate 95. A casino opened in Philadelphia earlier this month. Delaware also has casinos, as does West Virginia, where one is now open inside the historic and posh Greenbrier Resort. North Carolina has a casino on Native American land in the western part of the state.

Many states are dropping their qualms about casinos in the face of budget shortfalls and economic recessions, as gambling brings in revenue. But Virginia remains casino-free (although it does allow the lottery, many of the proceeds of which support public schools). The General Assembly hasn’t shown much inclination to allow casinos into the Old Dominion.

UPDATE: A listener on WTOP radio on Tuesday asked Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell about the possibility of casinos in Virginia. Here is a link to the entire conversation. The question is about 32 minutes in. The caller pointed out that many of the people he meets in West Virginia casinos are from Virginia, so why shouldn’t Virginia take advantage of this revenue-generating potential? McDonnell essentially said that Virginia is focusing its economic development efforts elsewhere. He said the state has been ranked as among the most business-friendly in the country, and pointed to recent investments by Microsoft and Northrop Grumman in the state as evidence that current policies are working. He said gambling tends to create crime, which businesses don’t want to see. So he said he has not embraced the idea of casinos in Virginia, nor has the General Assembly.

What do you think? Take our poll:

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/businessbrowser/2010/09/27/virginias-neighbors-allowing-casinos/

  • http://the-anime-adv1sor.blogspot.com/ adv1sor

    If you want to see how much good casinos can do for a town just take a drive up to Atlantic City. ‘nough said.

  • Fred

    But do you want Fredericksburg to be the next Atlantic City or Las Vegas with all its crime and pollution.

  • Vince

    Funny how the only thing focused on is all the ‘Revenue’ casinos will generate. I think everyone should ask themselves what “real cost” of allowing casinos to operate in the state would be. In my opinion it is not worth it. While were building casinos why not build more bars and strip clubs as well! I’m just ranting but I think anyone with a modicum of intelligence can see casinos are just not a good idea. Like the other poster said “If you want to see how much good casinos can do for a town just take a drive up to Atlantic City.” I’ve been there and that place is a dump, just like Vegas once you leave the strip. Wish I had some faith our politicians will do the right thing when it comes to this issue.

  • testexam

    in addition to the aforementioned, think on a business level. I’m a consultant and a strategic planner. What happens when you have a influx of a product ? in this case, casinos. assuming each person from their own state only frequents their own casino (assuming each state has one), will this be enough revenue to sustain the business ? casinos only make money when theres a mix of visitors from a triangulated area. Now throw in 4-6 casinos per state, coupled with cheap prices, games, buy-ins, to lure you in, how long before all the casinos go bankrupt ? once you lower the cost, you also lure in all the low lifes, and other badness. best case in point, Atlantic City.,and the dumpier Vegas Strip (Stratosphere all the way to Four Queens, Horseshoe Binion, etc casinos. Even parts of main Vegas strip is trashy. how you like the hobos camped out on Atlantic city boardwalk ? you like the piss smell on vegas strip ?
    The best and efficient method for tri-state areas to benefit from casinos is to build them along states borders and have states share the cost/revenue/burden. they can enforce strict zoning regulations to keep casinos from saturation/monopoly and retain a higher profile and policies and tighter patrols to keep badness out.

  • dpts85

    Testexam If they are going to allow casinos in Virginia they have to allow card tables. With one in Northern Virginia people who are visiting DC will go to the casino for the night especially if its within an hour or so away I know I would. Mix that with the amount of money thats already in the DC and Northern VA it would definitely be worth it.

    lets say they do allow gambling in Virginia there is definitely going to be a casino in or very close to northern virginia. The casinos, hotels, restaurants not to mention the stores are all going to need employees. Lets just say that brings at least 300 jobs to Northern Virginia. Now Newport News , Va Beach there is a good chance that there will be a casino somewhere down there too.

  • kyle

    I don’t understand the comparison to AC and Vegas, those are things that happen in large gambling meccas.

    People that make those types of ignorant claims obviously have never been to a place like Foxwoods Casino.
    Take a trip there for a weekend and see if you have the same outlook on gambling.

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