DANVILLE, Va. – In a narrow victory, the referendum that will allow Rosie's Gaming Emporium to expand in Southwest Virginia passed Tuesday.
This was a hot-button issue in Danville.
Rosie's opened in Vinton earlier this year and has been very successful.
According to the state Department of Elections, 5,083 people voted to allow Rosie's to open in Danville while 4,717 people voted against allowing the gambling establishment to open.
Danville Vice Mayor Lee Vogler believes this is a big step toward getting a casino.
"I think this is a step in the direction of going back up to Richmond and telling (legislators) our citizens want casino-type entertainment," Vogler said. "Our next step is what it's been from the beginning. We would like to have our voters have the ability to vote on a casino."
He said city leaders will work on that in the coming year.
Danville is one of three cities in which the General Assembly is considering allowing a casino to be built.
"We're excited to see the people's voices were heard. They voted in support of this, which means, we think, they want to see more of this type of entertainment. I think they're excited about the things we've been doing the last few years," Vogler said. "Danville is the comeback city and we think this is another step in that direction."
Mark Hubbard, a spokesperson for Rosie's parent company, said the company is committed to working with the community.
"We can begin in earnest working with Danville city leaders to determine exactly what kind of project the community in Danville would like to see and the collaborating to bring that to fruition," Hubbard said.
So, where will Rosie's open in Danville?
"Nothing has been finalized. We're still looking around. The most important thing, now that we have a green light to move forward, is to determine what's going to be best for the entire community," Hubbard said.