DANVILLE, Va. – A casino in Danville is still far from a sure bet, which is why the Danville Regional Foundation decided to do a study.
The study, released Thursday, estimates a casino could attract 180,000 to more than 2 million people to the city each year, generate $55 million to $315 million in annual revenue for the city and create between 575 and 3,050 jobs.
“There’s been two phone calls this morning, after this came out, about this,” State Del. Danny Marshall said.
Marshall represents Danville.
He said the studies are great, but more work will need to be done if the General Assembly votes to allow Danville to have a referendum next November.
“Right now, it’s just speculation on, ‘The tax rate’s going to be XYZ.’ At the end of the session, what I have asked people to do is to update this (study),” Marshall said.
The Danville Regional Foundation's study calculated tax revenue for the city based on state tax rates of 10 and 15 percent.
Danville City Council Member Dr. Gary Miller said that’s lower than what the city has been using.
“The numbers we’re looking at start at 15 percent and go up,” Miller said.
The Joint Legislative Audit & Review Committee study assumed a state tax of 27 percent.
Another difference is how far away the studies suggest people will come from to visit the casino.
The latest study estimates 100 miles.
“I think that’s a bit restrained. Other studies have said it could be up to 200, 250 miles,” Miller said.
Miller also pointed out the crime increase in the latest study is a little higher than the other studies but believes a casino would benefit the city.
A gamble, perhaps, but one city leaders plan to continue to lobby the General Assembly for an opportunity to let residents decide if they want to make.