Gambling Legislation

Virginia senator puts his support behind casino expansion

Virginia senator puts his support behind casino expansion

Senator Dave Marsden backs casinos in the state but not a proposed location

Virginia state Senator Dave Marsden is ready to continue to support casino expansion in the state. However, he says that if a casino is ever built in Fairfax County, he would prefer to see it in Tysons, not Reston, as reports say has been proposed.

Some residents and elected officials have pushed back against the prospect of a casino. Marsden argues that the county must consider all options to diversify the commercial tax base, with the office market still lagging since the pandemic.

Tyson’s population has increased in the last decade. Marsden says the general commercial makeup of the district, along with its four Metro stations, would be “the ideal place” for an entertainment facility with a casino.

Marsden declared he’s “certainly very strongly looking at” proposing a new casino bill in the 2024 General Assembly session if he’s elected in the new 35th District, which will be different from the bill introduced in 2023. He said, “I do want to talk to some of our elected folks in Fairfax County to see how they would want the bill structured, to take a look at it.”

Marsden emphasizes that the bill’s aim isn’t to impose a casino on the county but to give it an option that’s currently impossible. If the General Assembly adopts the bill, a referendum would be put on the ballot where voters would decide if a casino would be authorized.

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay says he “would strongly oppose any legislation” taking land use authority from the county but refused to take a position on a proposed casino.

The Virginia Lottery’s initial revenue has exceeded projections this summer at the state’s three casinos, generating $308 million through the end of June. Marsden says the resulting tax revenue could help Fairfax County without further saddling residential real estate taxes.

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