The push to introduce a casino in Fairfax County, northern Virginia, has hit a pause, with any further discussions postponed until at least 2025. This decision came from a state senate subcommittee, which opted to delay the issue following strong opposition from local residents. Many voiced their concerns loudly, preferring not to even see the matter reach a ballot referendum. Despite this, efforts to completely scrap the proposal were unsuccessful, leaving those opposed to the idea dissatisfied.
Jennifer Boysko (D-Fairfax), a vocal critic of the casino plan, shared her constituents’ frustration, stating, “There were hundreds and hundreds of people in my community who have expressed disappointment and disagreement with this proposal.”
Since Virginia legalized casinos in 2020, the state has seen the establishment of five casinos across Bristol, Portsmouth, Norfolk, and Danville. Notably, Richmond’s voters twice turned down a proposal for a casino in their city, in both 2021 and 2023, showing that community opposition can indeed influence the fate of such projects.
The focus is now shifting towards Petersburg as the potential new site for the casino project initially intended for Richmond. Fairfax County, with its proximity to Washington D.C., was considered a prime location due to its large population and potential customer base.
The proposed site for the Fairfax casino was in the Tysons Corner area, a key commercial hub situated conveniently near D.C. and Arlington, Virginia. Advocates for the casino argued it could significantly benefit the state and local economy, projecting up to $155 million in annual tax revenue.
Despite the setback, some lawmakers remain hopeful about revisiting the casino proposal in the future. Senator Dave Marsden (D-Fairfax), who backed the bill, emphasized the project’s financial promise, especially in a time of fiscal challenges for Virginia, saying, “There aren’t many bills coming before this committee that offer this much potential revenue to the commonwealth of Virginia in a year and a time when our revenues are short. This absolutely has to be considered.”
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