Virginia Lawmakers Take A Gamble Advancing Casino in Tysons

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The Virginia Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology approved a bill on Wednesday to pave the way for a new casino-anchored mixed-use development in Tysons, Va. 

The legislation just barely advanced out of a subcommittee Tuesday with a split vote but overwhelmingly passed the full committee by a 10-4-1 vote on Wednesday. The bill now heads to the Committee on Finance and Appropriations for a vote scheduled for Feb. 13.

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Bill 675 was introduced by Sen. David Marsden and puts Fairfax County on the list of localities allowed by the state to host a casino, and enables the county to decide later by referendum whether it wants one.

The plan was for the casino to anchor a larger mixed-use development, including a conference center, a hotel and a concert venue, Mardsen said.

No site has been officially named as a possible landing spot, but Marsden confirmed to FFXnow that it would most likely be at the former Bentley and Aston Martin dealership at 8546 Leesburg Pike, which is part of the long talked about 8.4-acre The View assemblage.

The site is owned by Tysons Development, a partnership between the Clemente Development Company and Saudi Arabian businessman Khaled Juffali. Plans for The View were approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in 2019 and called for a six-building, 3 million-square-foot, mixed-use development, though those plans stalled when the pandemic hit. A casino could put the development back on the fast track. 

Thompson Hospitality would also be part of the casino if one was ever to come to Tysons.

A 2022 study by Virginia’s Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission noted that MGM National Harbor, a casino in nearby Maryland, derived nearly 33 percent of its revenue from Virginia residents. 

Marsden wants to see money from a casino used for education among other things.

“I’m getting tired of paying for Maryland schools,” he said. “I think it’s time we paid for Virginia schools instead.” 

Keith Loria can be reached at Kloria@commercialobserver.com.