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The City Council on Tuesday night voted to formally certify Caesars Virginia, LLC as the City's preferred casino gaming operator and to authorize Mayor Alonzo Jones to execute the City's post-referendum letter of certification and submit the letter and other documentation to the Virginia Lottery Department.
The documentation is required by the state statute on casino gaming that was signed into law in March. Earlier this month, Danville voters approved casino gaming by a margin of more than two-to-one, with 13,151 ballots or 68.73 percent cast in favor of a gaming establishment and 5,983 ballots or 31.27 percent cast against it.
In September, Danville city and Caesars Entertainment officials signed a development agreement for a resort casino to be built at the former Dan River Mills industrial complex in Schoolfield should the casino gaming referendum pass.
The next step for the City is to work with Caesars as it develops final plans for the site. Also, according to the terms of the development agreement between Caesars and the City, Caesars will pay $15 million upfront to the City within 30 days and, by the end of the year, Caesars will pay $5 million to buy the Schoolfield site.
Caesars plans to break ground at the site in fall 2021 and have its $400 million casino resort opened in the second half of 2023.
In other matters, City Council voted to:
The City Council also held a first reading on a grant from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management for equipment and service Upgrades to the Danville 9-1-1 Emergency Services Communication Center.
A first reading is an introductory step required by City Code before some issues can be voted upon by the City Council. This step serves to provide public notice of pending action. The City Council can vote on these matters at its next meeting.
In one final matter, Mayor Jones issued a proclamation for Danville Entrepreneurship Week, which is this week.