Danville city leaders finalize deal with Caesars Entertainment to be the city’s casino operator

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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) – Putting the final stamp on negotiations, Danville officially made Caesars Entertainment group, their choice as the city’s casino operator.

“To have it come to fruition it’s a great day for all 80,000 Caesars employees across the globe.” said Tony Rodio, strategic advisor at Caesars Entertainment.

The final deal requires that Caesars Entertainment invest a minimum of $400 million to transform the Schoolfield site, into a Caesars branded casino resort, bringing 1,300 full time jobs.

The deal also states that Caesars will make a $50 million payment to the city, if the referendum passes, along with a yearly percent of their gaming revenue, which is projected to be $12 million.

All of that going along with the projected $22 million in new tax revenue that would be brought to the city.

“We’ll have all sorts of opportunities to do somethings that we haven’t been able to do. To make investments in areas that need investment, so it’s going to have really an outlandish impact.” said Ken Larking, Danville city manager.

Larking says crime has been the biggest concern he’s heard from people who oppose a casino in Danville. Their consultant on casino gaming says data doesn’t show come to be an issue.

“By and large, what we were told and what the data brought out, was that a new casino development in a community such as Danville is really no different that a new Walmart or development that brings people to one location.”

Thursday’s signing doesn’t not mean a casino is coming to Danville, that will be left up to voters in November.

Caesars Entertainment will be hosting virtual and in person town halls to address questions.

While things might sound like a done deal, last November the referendum for historic horse race betting, only passed by 2 percent.

Still Rodio with Caesars says he’s confident that they’ll be opening their casino resort in 2023.

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