Petersburg Picks The Cordish Companies To Build Fifth Virginia Casino

The Petersburg, Virginia City Council unanimously selected The Cordish Companies to build what would be the state’s fifth casino. [Image:]

After evaluating five bids, the Petersburg City Council has selected The Cordish Companies as its preferred casino vendor for what could become Virginia’s fifth and final brick-and-mortar casino. The other four contenders were Bally’s Corporation, Penn Entertainment, Rush Street Gaming, and a partnership between The Warrenton Group and Delaware North.

While the councilors did not stick around after the unanimous vote – to the disappointment of many in attendance – to explain why they chose Cordish, one thing that likely worked in the company’s favor was its 50-50 joint venture with Bruce Smith Enterprise (BSE), led by former Virginia Tech and Buffalo Bills football legend Bruce Smith. According to a BSE press release, the Petersburg project will be the “largest minority ownership opportunity in the gaming and hospitality industry in the country.”

Though the Cordish $1.4bn Live! Gaming & Entertainment District featuring Live! Casino & Hotel Virginia has been approved, Petersburg residents still must vote in November to green-light the casino. Bristol, Portsmouth, and Danville already have casinos and Norfolk’s has been approved, but not yet built.

Richmond was originally the option for Virginia’s fifth casino, but voters rejected the idea in both 2021 and 2023. Governor Glenn Youngkin recently signed legislation barring Richmond from holding another vote, giving Petersburg, a short drive south from the state’s capital city, the opportunity to be next in line.