Neighbors passionate about return of Colonial Downs and possible casino

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NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. (WAVY/WRIC) — With the possibility of New Kent County becoming home to the first casino in Virginia, the county’s board of supervisors hosted a town hall Thursday to give neighbors a chance to sound off on the idea.

The Pamunkey Indian Tribe recently said it’s looking at several potential sites in Virginia to build the $700 million resort and casino. A partner with the tribe recently bought property along I-64, near Quinton, according to several publications.

The Pamunkey tribe was considered the most powerful in the Powhatan Paramount Chiefdom, which greeted the English settlers at Jamestown, and claims Pocahontas among its lineage. The Department of Interior granted federal recognition to the Pamunkey in 2015, allowing the possibility of casinos through a separate approval process.

Partners in the Foley Quigley Law firm have been retained by the board of supervisors to help navigate the process moving forward. 

Before there can be any gaming of any kind, there must be land acquisition that meets the criteria for Indian gaming. That could take years according to the presentation.

However, many in attendance weren’t waiting that long to voice their opinion. 

“The house never loses, we do,” said one resident who took to the podium. Another warned; “the impact on the community is not going to be positive.”

In addition to the potential casino, the New Kent Board of Supervisors had Stefan Huba on hand to talk about the re-opening of Colonial Downs

Right now the goal is for Colonial Downs to be open for 12-racing days in 2019, according to Huba, the new operations manager for the facility. Norfolk-based interior design company, Within, will help with the remodel of he 1997 track. 

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