The gambling industry in North Carolina is going through some major changes right now. While the General Assembly discusses a possible huge expansion of the gambling industry in the state, the residents of Rockingham County are fighting against it.
The issues with the approval:
On Monday, August 21st, the zoning request was approved, which means that this rural country might be getting a new casino.
The 192-acre land in question is placed near Madison, on U.S. 220. After the Board of Commissioners approves it, various commercial applications will become possible on that land.
In order to begin with the casino construction, the state law will have to be changed, but the residents aren’t willing to accept it. The opposition from the county hired an attorney to file the lawsuit against the project.
Rockingham County isn’t the only one in the state where commercial casinos will be legalized. According to the source, in a draft of possible legislation are several counties in North Carolina, and many Republicans support it.
The main reason behind this legislation lies in the fact that Virginia approved new casinos, and one of them is in Danville, very close to Rockingham County. The supporters have huge funding to push the expansion, but the approval from the statehouse waited for a long time. The preparations are undergoing, and the officials are planning to open another casino in the area, in Reidsville. Even a closed meeting about economic development was held in Reidsville recently.
A large group of residents awaited to hear the results of the meeting in Rockingham County. One of the main reasons for the opposition was Camp Carefree, a rustic camp for children with various kinds of disabilities, which is placed just next to the possible casino property.
Economic growth or increased crime level:
Commissioners support the project because it will mean a lot for the economic development of the area, including providing thousands of people with jobs.
Attorney for the ones who want rezoning to happen, Will Quick, claims that the area will contain many entertainment options and that the object will draw a lot of attention and jobs to the area.
He said: “There are clearly a lot of folks who have very strong feelings. I also encourage you to consider the benefits. This is the first step in what will be a long partnership.”
A Republican candidate for governor, Mark Walker, claims that the casino is “the worst kept secret in North Carolina.” He claims that the lack of transparency is one of the huge issues when it comes to the project.
The Republicans aren’t united about this question. Sam Page, a Sheriff of the county, thinks the casino will increase the crime level in the county. He said: “I get it that there are economic benefits … safety and quality of life should not suffer as a result.”