Surry supports Petersburg casino

Published 4:08 pm Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Surry’s Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 on Dec. 2 to pass a resolution in support of a casino coming to the city of Petersburg.

Virginia’s General Assembly passed a law in 2020 authorizing casinos in the cities of Portsmouth, Norfolk, Richmond, Danville and Bristol, contingent on voters in each city approving the idea via a referendum. After Richmond voters rejected the proposed $565 million Urban One casino on Nov. 2, state Sen. Joe Morrissey (D-Petersburg) began campaigning to bring a casino to Petersburg instead.

According to County Administrator Melissa Rollins, Morrissey has written to the local governments of several surrounding jurisdictions asking for resolutions in support of the idea, including Surry County, which is located roughly 30 miles outside the city’s limits.

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“It is in Petersburg, so I don’t know that it would affect Surry County in any negative way,” said Bacon’s Castle District Supervisor Judy Lyttle. “I have no problem supporting this letter.”

Carsley District Supervisor Ronald Howell Jr. said he too supported the resolution, and believed a casino in Petersburg could have “some ancillary positive effects” for Surry.

But Surry District Supervisor Timothy Calhoun and Claremont District Supervisor and Chairman Robert Elliott both voted “no,” leaving Dendron District Supervisor and Vice Chairman Michael Drewry to cast the deciding vote in favor of the resolution.