Posted on: June 11, 2024, 11:19h. 

Last updated on: June 11, 2024, 11:27h.

Caesars Virginia opened a temporary pavilion gaming tent on May 15, 2023. During the casino’s first year in business, the City of Danville where the property operates, has received over $18.86 million in payments and gaming taxes from Caesars Entertainment.

Caesars Virginia casino Danville city government
Construction continues on the permanent Caesars Virginia destination, a $750 million investment scheduled to open before 2025. In the meantime, the property’s temporary casino is providing mighty benefits for the local Danville government. (Image: Caesars Entertainment)

The influx of new tax revenue is being used for an array of local initiatives, but city officials opted to first give pay raises to most city employees. A newly disclosed “Casino Revenues and Appropriations” document shows that Danville collected $18,863,613.22 from the Caesars casino from May 1, 2023, through April 30, 2024.

Nearly $4.7 million went to the implementation of a new payment structure for local government employees.

“All of our employees provide the services that the people in our community expect to receive,” Danville City Manager Ken Larking told WDBJ, the local media organization that first obtained the casino allocations document through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Whether it’s in parks and recreation, police, fire, public works, street maintenance, everything that we do requires a hands-on approach to make that happen. In order to provide great, quality services, that costs more now than it used to,” Larking explained.

“We build our workforce through education of our existing people, but also through recruitment of people into Danville, because they see opportunities. Their decision to do that is based on a lot of factors with quality life and education among the highest,” Larking said.

Spending Details

Larking says to keep Danville city government jobs attractive for the top talent the city wishes to employ, pay raises were needed. The salary hikes were made after the city conducted a market study comparing its compensation levels to other similarly sized cities.

There are 43,000 people that live in Danville and I’m sure there are 43,000 different opinions on exactly how we do things,” Larking said. “That’s what democracy is all about.”

Larking added that the local government is doing “the best we can” to improve the quality of life for all Danville residents. After the pay raises, the next richest allocation from the casino windfall went to a reserve account that the city would use in the case of emergencies. The fund received $3.86 million.

K-12 public schools received the next-most casino tax money at $2.55 million, followed by $2.48 million in economic development allocations.

$1 million was directed to help relocate power lines along West Main Street underground, and another $1 million went to the installation of a splash pad at Third Avenue Park.

The local police received $845K to upgrade their headquarters and $800K went to blight projects. Tourism initiatives received $566,240, the city’s Gang & Violence Prevention Program was awarded $361,550, and the city’s internship program was given $251,850.

Caesars Virginia

The temporary casino, officially called the Danville Casino, has exceeded preopening revenue projections. During its first 11 months (May 2024 hasn’t yet been revealed), the casino with 800 slots and 33 table games won almost $222 million from players.

The $750 million permanent integrated resort — Caesars Virginia — will come with 320 hotel rooms and a casino with 1,300 slots, 85 table games, and a Caesars Sportsbook. Resort amenities include a full-service spa and pool complex, multiple restaurants and bars, a 2,500-seat concert venue, and 50,000 square feet of convention space.

The permanent facility is slated to open before the year’s end.

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