North Carolina commissioners approve zoning request for possible Rockingham County casino

August 22, 2023
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The approval moves the state one step closer to legal casino expansion.

North Carolina officials in Rockingham County have approved a recent zoning request for a possible new casino, according to a WRAL News local report.

The request came from NC Development Holdings, which asked that 192 acres in Rockingham County be rezoned for possible casino development. The holding company is registered at the same address as operator The Cordish Companies.

According to the local report, the land in question is currently zoned for residential and agricultural use. The county planning board previously voted against rezoning the property in June in a 5 to 2 vote.

The approval lays the groundwork for a possible Rockingham County casino. However, several steps, including changes in North Carolina law, will be necessary to see the project come to fruition.

State lawmakers and lobbyists have brought up increased casino activity across state borders as a compelling reason to allow for new casino construction in North Carolina. A similar position moved legislation to legalize sports betting last year.

Part of the motivation to open a regulated sports betting market was due to pre-existing gambling throughout the state, as well as the opportunity to provide a safe space for an already present market.

However, not everyone approves. Rockingham County residents have spoken against casino expansion, expressing concerns that the new addition could negatively impact other local businesses. Hundreds of residents showed up to a recent public meeting, along with Gubernatorial candidate Mark Walker and Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page to oppose construction.

More than 3,000 Rockingham Country residents have signed an online petition on change.org to block casino development.

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