Pamunkey Tribe receives land purchase extension for potential Norfolk Casino

November 1, 2023

The Virginia-based Tribe that proposed Headwaters Casino has taken the option to delay purchase of land until January 2025.

The Pamunkey Tribe of Virginia has taken the option in its current casino development contract to delay purchasing land for its proposed HeadWaters Resort & Casino until January 2025. In August, the city of Norfolk also sent letters to the casino developer outlining a ‘change of direction’ for the project.

The Tribe will not be able to delay the purchase any further as per the contract’s permissions. The land is located next to Harbor Park and the overall plans for the casino are currently estimated to cost $500m.

City spokesperson Chris Jones said, “There is no approval nor denial involved presently; the extensions were valid and effective under the terms of the 2020 Option to Purchase.”

After a temporary casino was originally proposed in July, city officials rejected this plan in favor of a permanent, one-phase construction project. The sale of the land will be allowed once this project is reviewed and approved.

Unlike in Richmond, where a casino has been approved, stalled, re-considered and put on an upcoming referendum, voters in Norfolk voted largely in favor of a casino in 2020.

Virginia law currently permits gambling in five cities and has opened casinos in Bristol, Portsmouth and Danville. The Richmond development will be up for a vote this month, while a development in Reston has also been proposed and will require a vote from the Virginia General Assembly.

A representative from HeadWaters Resort & Casino told local reports that the company plans to finalize documents for submission to the city of Norfolk in December, with a view to the Architectural Review Board and Planning Commission covering the plans at its January meeting.


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