PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — The chances of Petersburg hosting a casino are smaller now, after the general assembly voted against advancing the bill.
Lawmakers in the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee voted 9-7 against a proposal Thursday that would allow Petersburg to hold a casino referendum.
Senator Joe Morrissey introduced the bill last year after Richmond shot down the opportunity in November.
“It’s all driven by money and the people of Richmond spoke,” said Morrissey. “They said they don’t want it, so like I’ve said many, many times before what are you going to do?”
The bill included banning other cities like Richmond from holding another casino referendum for the next five years.
Morrissey said the bill isn’t dead just yet, as it could still pass in the house and come back to the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee for another vote.
“I am going to be relentless when it comes to getting this casino for Petersburg. The economic impact from a casino in Petersburg would be life changing,” said Morrissey. “This is a transformational moment for those citizens in Petersburg. This city is on the rise and this was the last piece of the puzzle to do that, to get them back to the top.”
Virginia granted five localities a gaming license to operate a casino. Morrissey said others might be hurting the city’s chances for a casino, because they don’t want competition.
“They got theirs, let’s not worry about the other people. And it’s just I find that unseemly, unwarranted, unchristian,” he said.