Norfolk Planning Commission approves temporary casino in Virginia

The Pamunkey Tribe’s temporary casino in Norfolk will have about 625 slot machines and electronic table games.
The Pamunkey Tribe’s temporary casino in Norfolk will have about 625 slot machines and electronic table games.

The Norfolk Planning Commission has approved a request for a conditional use permit from the Pamunkey Tribe to open a temporary casino at Harbor Park.

US.- The Pamunkey Tribe’s plan to open a temporary casino at Harbor Park in Norfolk, Virginia, has received approval from the Norfolk Planning Commission. The request for conditional use of the space now heads to Norfolk City Council, which will meet in June.

The tribe hopes to obtain a licence from the Virginia Lottery Commission on July 20 so it can start construction on the temporary casino, which would be a stop gap for the $500m HeadWaters Resort & Casino.

Rodney Ferguson, executive vice president of the Pamunkey Indian Tribal Gaming Authority, told the planning commission that the temporary casino would have about 625 slot machines and electronic table games.

He said: “It will be a first step into the Norfolk market that will showcase what HeadWaters can actually do,”

The temporary casino would be housed at the stadium of Norfolk’s minor league baseball team, the Tides, within the Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker Boxing and Fitness Center and the Hits at the Park restaurant.

The first floor would house the casino and the second floor both casino space and a high-end sports bar and grill. The boxing centre is moving to the Park Place Multi-Service Center while Norfolk seeks a permanent location.

Developers have asked for permission to construct a tent and temporary office space nearby that will be removed within six months after the temporary casino stops operating.

Ferguson estimated it would take six months to complete construction and hire, train and develop the necessary staff, once approval is received. He expects 275 employees to work in the temporary facility, with most being full-time workers. The casino’s goal is to hire 90 per cent of employees locally, with 50 per cent belonging to minorities.

The permanent HeadWaters Resort & Casino will include a convention hotel, restaurants, an entertainment venue, spa and pools. In September 2021, the Pamunkey Tribe named Newport News-based construction company W.M. Jordan Co. and Suffolk Construction as the general contractors to build the casino. The 300-room hotel, casino and entertainment project, set to open in 2024, is expected to generate about 2,000 construction jobs.

See also: Rivers Casino Portsmouth construction moves forward in Virginia

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