Feb 5, 2024 - News

Tysons casino bill on ice

A view of the slot machines at the MGM Casino in National Harbor in Maryland

The MGM National Harbor Casino in Maryland. Photo: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A Tysons casino is on ice after a group of Virginia lawmakers recommended revisiting the idea next year.

Why it matters: A state bill that would have opened the door for a casino in Northern Virginia had drawn opposition from residents and local leaders alike.

State of play: Last Thursday, a Senate subcommittee recommended punting the bill to allow more time for an economic benefits study, the Washington Post reported.

  • Yes, but: The Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee will make the final call this week. They could override the recommendation and move forward anyway. So the casino isn't dead yet, state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) tells Axios.

Catch up fast: The bill would ultimately leave it to Fairfax County voters to greenlight a casino in Tysons.

  • A state study in 2019 estimated a casino in Northern Virginia could create up to $155 million in tax revenue and at least 3,200 jobs, the Post reports.
  • One possible site is where a developer wanted to build the region's tallest skyscraper, a plan that has stalled since 2019, per the Washington Business Journal.

The bottom line: Lawmakers want a new study to examine the potential impact. "I would like to have some updated projections because I want to try to keep this bill alive," said finance committee chair state Sen. L. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth), per the Post.

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