Pamunkey Tribe considering $700 million casino in Virginia

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – The Pamunkey Indian Tribe is considering whether to build a $700 million resort and casino in Virginia.

Media outlets report that the tribe is looking at potential sites for the project but has no definitive plans.

The Department of Interior granted federal recognition to the Pamunkey in 2015, allowing the possibility of casinos through a separate approval process. Virginia currently has no casinos.

The Pamunkey’s bid for federal recognition was opposed by MGM Resorts, which runs a new casino just outside the nation’s capital in Maryland.

The tribe was considered the most powerful in the Powhatan Paramount Chiefdom, which greeted the English settlers at Jamestown and claims Pocahontas among its lineage.

According to the Pamunkey Tribe, the resort would feature a hotel, spa, event spaces, casino, along with indoor and outdoor pools.

Chesterfield resident Robert Jenkins tells 8News he would love to have a casino in Virginia without having to fight traffic heading to Maryland or Delaware.

“I usually go to the casino maybe 3 times out of a month,” said Jenkins. “You usually sit in traffic for 3 to 4 hours just to get into the casino for a couple of hours.”

The Pamunkey Tribe also estimates an annual $1 billion economic impact and says that the resort would create 4,000 full-time jobs.

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