Update: Portsmouth passes resolution for casino

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Update: The Portsmouth City Council passed a resolution, 4-3 in support of bringing a casino to the city according to Elizabeth Psimas. 

Mayor Kenny Wright and two others opposed the legislation. 

This is just the first step for the proposal. Senator Louise Lucas will now take the bill to the General Assembly. 

Previous: Portsmouth, Va. - The stage is set yet again for a battle Wednesday night in Portsmouth, just 24 hours after Mayor Kenny Wright held up a vote on bringing a casino into the city.

“I wish you would reconsider,” said Councilwoman Elizabeth Psimas.

“We ought to give our senator the right to leave here knowing where we are going,” said Councilman Curtis Edmonds Sr.

State Senator Louise Lucas says she needs the council's support before she introduces her casino bill in Richmond.

If passed, 90% of tax revenue from the casino would go towards lowering the costs of tunnel tolls, with the other 10% going straight to the City of Portsmouth.

“Break the bondage of taxes and tolls that are going to break the backs of residents if we don't come up with some form of revenue,” said Lucas.

Some people who live in Portsmouth, though, are skeptical of the casino's benefits.

“To work at a casino, you can’t have committed any crimes, need to have a clean criminal history and pass background checks. Councilman Meeks, you say this would bring 1500 jobs, but how many Portsmouth residents do you think would work there?” asked Mimosa Cove resident Pat Simons.

Others, though, stood up in support of the casino...wanting to bring money back to the city they live in and love.

“Every single day of the week, there are buses going to Maryland, Connecticut, West Virginia and Delaware. They are going, and they are getting all of our money,” said Elvira Johnson.

So Wednesday at 9 p.m., the city council will try yet again to give the casino a green light.

They are taking a gamble they say could turn Portsmouth's luck around.

“We can come together to free Portsmouth from the stigma of being the area’s least desirable city,” said Senator Lucas.


  • C Barnes

    I commend those City Council members who voted to oppose this horrible idea that seeks money at the expense of children, families, and local businesses. The research is there….it hurts a locale a LOT more than it helps it. Okay General Assembly, please put SB19 out of our misery in January 2014!

    • Retired_in_Va

      There are always pro’s and con’s to any project. This seems to be more pro than con. Unless you make a lot more than minimum wage, which is what a lot of people using the tunnel make, these tolls could have devastating effects on the economy and if this lessens those impacts it would be great.

      Toll Booth Bob screwed us the the tolls and no toll both forcing you to get a e-zpass or pay double or tripple to use the tunnel. Not only does the ERC get to raise toll as it wants, they are also guaranteed a 13.5% APR on their investment.

      So, as far as I am concerned this Casino will be more of a benefit than a problem.

  • ptown50

    Tuesday the vote was 5 to 1 and Wednesday 4 to 3. How about a little more on who, what, when, where, and why ohters changed their vote WTKR.

  • Retired_in_Va

    It would be nice to not have to drive to Dover, Baltimore, Atlantic City, fly to Vegas or go on a cruise to play the slots.

    Since I am one who will NEVER us the tunnels again after the tolls starts, so they probably need to do something. Just like the Chesapeake Expressway, I have not and NEVER will pay to go down that road.

    More than likely the one who protest are also the ones who will never use it or make enough it will not affect their prosperity.

    To the idiots who are against it, pay higher tolls and taxes to toll booth bob and the state of Virginia.

    Also blame the state legislators who would not increase the gas tax a few cents. The way the gas prices fluctuates you would never notice the increase. But no, they decided to screw the cities of Norfolk, Chesapeake and Portsmouth with the stupid tolls, sending billions of dollars in profit to overseas companies.

  • C Barnes

    Top Income Tax Rate in US is 39.6%

    And that does not count state tax. The 39.6% tax is for single people who earn more than $400,001

    ‘So why is Lucas only taxing 20% of the ‘after expenses’ profit to the casino company?


    What ever people want to do, they will find away to do it. Now they can spend their money at home or continue to spend it else where.
    Why not spend at home and solve some of our own issues? Wake up Virginia, it’s long overdue.

  • Audeay Hepburm

    Slots is another casino game which all the interested casino players love to play. It is completely a luck based game and there is hardly anything that you can do about it. Slots is played on special machines called as slot machines and these are basically reel machines on which there could be three or five reels. The whole game is based upon the images upon the reels and there are specific patterns and combinations of the images which are accepted in slots and these are technically known as pay lines. The players bet over the pay lines and based upon the similarity of the pay lines, the players win or lose the bet.

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