Gambling may not have the most sterling reputation in the entertainment industry, but recent casino openings have already brought a generous amount of tax revenue to state governments and local communities across the nation. And in addition to this expanding revenue base, gaming brings stable jobs to local communities. Expanding the world of casino gambling will create thousands of jobs and provide some stability to local communities, many of which are experiencing economic shifts as a consequence of our evolving global economy.
Casinos Bring Revenue to Coal Country
Since the Supreme Court ruling in May that overturned the federal prohibition on sports betting, many states have moved to take advantage of new opportunities to fill their coffers by allowing casinos and sportsbooks to conduct business in their territories. And many of these communities are in areas that have been impacted by poor economic practices of the past.
In the beginning of January, the Danville City Council unanimously voted on a resolution to allow a casino resort to be built in the town. While this is only one step in the multistep process to bring gambling to the City of Danville. Currently, the resolution still has to go through the General Assembly in Richmond, Virginia. After which, Voters will have the opportunity to either approve or dismantle the proposal in a local referendum.
Vice-Mayor Lee Vogler stated that the city felt they “owed it to the people of Danville” to give them the opportunity to choose whether opening a casino is the best way to uplift the city’s economy. Danville made headlines a few years ago after the town experienced an environmental disaster. In 2014, a nearby coal mine spilled nearly 40,000 tons of toxic sludge into the nearby Dan River. Danville agreed to a settlement in 2016, but the town is still badly in need of a new beginning.
Gaming Creates Opportunities for Growth
The casino resort proposed in Danville is estimated to bring in around $20 million in tax revenue each year. This is nearly ten times the amount the Danville City Council accepted as a one-time payment to settle the environmental damage it experienced following the 2014 coal toxin release.
Danville’s Vice-Mayor explained that if the referendum passes, it will be one of the most significant economic development projects Danville has seen in a very long time. The opening of a casino in Danville will result in roughly 7,000 new jobs, with employee salaries averaging around $46,000 per year. Over the next ten years, the casino is estimated to bring in around $1 billion in spending to be siphoned into the city’s local economy.
Danville has had a rocky economy over the past few years, but Danville’s city council is hopeful that introducing a casino into the city will help Danville’s economy get back on track. Casinos bring jobs, tax revenues, and tourist dollars to local economies badly in need of new opportunities. While it may be as late as the end of February before a decision is made in Danville, we’re sure to see more and more casino openings in small towns as gaming continues to expand across the country.