Gambling Legislation

Virginia lawmaker revamps casino bill to make it more appealing

Virginia lawmaker revamps casino bill to make it more appealing

Virginia is struggling with casino expansion and including more amenities could be the key

Virginia Senator David Marsden foresees a new entertainment district in Tysons that will house a performance venue where major stars like Taylor Swift could perform. It would include a conference center and casino.

“If we’re going to have a downtown, let’s make it look like a downtown and have a thing that attracts people in the off-hours, not just business during the business day,” said Marsden.

Marsden said in September that he would probably reintroduce the bill initially introduced in January that was eventually withdrawn. If he wins re-election on November 7 against Republican Mark Vafiades, he plans to expand the bill to add a conference center and performance space.

Comstock Companies introduced a proposal in October 2022 for a mixed-use redevelopment near the Tysons Greensboro Metro Station as part of the Fairfax County Sight Specific Plan Amendment Process. However, the Tysons Urban Center section of the Comprehensive Plan called for 65% office space.

After much opposition to the project, Comstock took the recommendation of county staff and Supervisor Walter Alcorn. He chose to submit the proposal as a “placeholder” while the county considered the combination of office and residential space for the project. The bid has since stalled in the SSPA process.

While Marsden was pushing Tysons as the ideal location for an entertainment district, Comstock already owned a site near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station, which could also be an excellent site for the project.

Comstock cited the poor construction market as the explanation for Tysons wanting more residential units than was allowed by the plan, arguing for the county to allow more office space than was intended for a project at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station site.

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