Home Gambling Fairfax Casino Supporters in Northern Virginia Form PAC

Fairfax Casino Supporters in Northern Virginia Form PAC


Posted on: December 28, 2023, 07:18h. 

Last updated on: December 28, 2023, 07:18h.

Supporters of bringing a casino to Northern Virginia by way of Fairfax County have formed a political action committee to raise funds to bankroll their 2024 initiative.

Fairfax County casino Virginia
The Tysons Corner Metro station on the Silver Line is where at least two state lawmakers in Virginia think a casino should be considered. Supporters of allowing a casino in Fairfax County have formed a political action committee. (Image: The Washington Post)

Virginia Sen. David Marsden (D-Fairfax) plans to reintroduce legislation designed to allow Fairfax County to consider a gaming referendum asking local voters to authorize a single commercial casino resort. Marsden introduced a similar bill this year that was quickly pulled.

Marsden and others supportive of giving the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors the right to initiate a casino ballot question argue it’s time that Northern Virginia stops subsidizing K-12 public education in Maryland where casinos operate. Maryland primarily uses its gaming taxes for public schools.

Marsden, a longtime state lawmaker, says he isn’t necessarily a fan of gambling but also doesn’t want Virginia’s wealthiest region to continue gambling in Maryland.

I don’t like the lottery. I don’t like any of it. But we have to be practical, not naïve,” Marsden told the Associated Press this week.

Del. Wren Williams (R-Stuart) says he’ll craft similar legislation to Marsden’s in his chamber to improve the odds of Fairfax being designated as a permissible casino host jurisdiction.

PAC Formed

Marsden and Williams are in talks with Comstock Companies, a developer of mixed-use real estate in Northern Virginia, for the casino undertaking. Comstock has expressed interest in bidding on becoming Fairfax’s preferred gaming developer should the county be afforded a casino opportunity.

Comstock has made political contributions to Williams, a 34-year-old lawmaker who has long ties to the family that owns the real estate firm. While Comstock is limited to how much it can donate to Williams and others’ political campaigns, a PAC can contribute considerably more funds.

Supporters of the Fairfax casino push this fall formed a PAC called “Building a Remarkable Virginia.” The PAC has already raised $277,000, with nearly all of it coming from Comstock or people related to the firm.

Christopher Clemente, Comstock’s CEO, gave $25,000. Comstock’s CFO Christopher Guthrie, General Counsel Jubal Thompson, and EVP of Development John Harrison each donated $2,500. Comstock SVP of Human Resources Paul Schwartz kicked in $1,000.

A website for Building a Remarkable Virginia seeking donations says nothing about backing a casino but instead focuses on the assets that the construction industry delivers to Virginia.

“Building a Remarkable Virginia is a nonpartisan coalition designed to support political causes and candidates that understand the positive impact the industry has on Virginia’s economy and the lives of Virginians,” the website states.

The PAC, per its latest campaign finance disclosure report filed with the Virginia State Board of Elections, shows it has $17,000 cash on hand after making numerous donations to state lawmakers. Marsden received $24,000 in October.

Much Opposition

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has yet to take a vote on whether they support considering a casino. Local boards in county towns along the Silver Line where Marsden and Williams seek to allow a casino have come out in opposition with ordinances opposing the gaming drive.

A state study conducted in 2019 determined that a casino resort in Northern Virginia could generate $155 million annually in tax revenue, nearly double what the Virginia Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee concluded for a casino in Richmond. Richmond voters last month for a second time rejected a proposed casino in the capital region.

Source link

Related Posts