1/8 UPDATE: State Senator Louise Lucas briefed the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerces Portsmouth Division Board of Directors on Wednesday morning.
With her was Greg Grootendorst, HRTPO/HRPDC Chief Economist and primary author of the HRTPO Casino Study. He gave a briefing on the study, its assumptions, and financial impact of various types of casino gaming.
PORTSMOUTH -- A Portsmouth Senator is working on a bill that would bring casino gambling to certain parts of Virginia.
The Virginian-Pilot reports State Senator Louise Lucas wants to create a state commission to license and regulate casinos. If Lucas' bill is drafted, only certain cities would qualify to have casinos. Portsmouth, which sits along the Elizabeth River, would fit the criteria.
Some business owners and managers in Portsmouth think it would be a good move.
'It wouldn't hurt us at all. It would bring in late business,' commented Brent Miller, kitchen manager of Roger Brown's Restaurant and Sports Bar.
Long-time Portsmouth resident Debra Moore believes the city would benefit from casinos.
'They're landlocked - not enough money for the schools and not a lot of industry. It might be a way to get people to come through the tunnel to get to Portsmouth,' said Moore.
Vice Mayor Charles Whitehurst just heard about the proposal. He thinks it should be up to the citizens of Portsmouth whether to have casinos...
'I would like a referendum to see what the citizens think about it,' Whitehurst said.