On Thursday morning, Dec. 5, the Danville Regional Foundation (DRF) released the findings of their independent study on the impacts a casino would bring to the city.
DRF partnered with Fourth Economy, a national community and economic development consulting firm out of Pittsburgh, to complete the study.
Fourth Economy came up with a broad range of impacts, based on how large a potential casino in Danville were to be.
A relatively small casino would attract 180,000 to 367,000 people annually, with those visitors spending $55 million. This casino could support 575 jobs, with $12.7 million given in wages.
A relatively large casino would see 1 to 2.1 million visitors, with $315 million in spending. It could support 3,050 jobs, with $68.4 given in wages.
Fourth Economy looked at two different tax rates for the casino revenues.
At a 10-percent tax rate, Danville could receive $625,000 in gaming tax revenue from a casino with $50 million pre-tax tax gaming revenue.
A 15-percent tax rate, Danville could see $5.6 million in gaming tax revenue from a casino with $300 million in pre-tax net gaming revenue.
Fourth Economy concludes that gaming tax collected could be distributed to the city of Danville (12.5-percent), Pittsylvania County (6-percent), other counties in the transportation district (31.5-percent) and the State of Virginia (50-percent).
Other tax impacts for Danville include real estate, meals, lodging and sales, which Fourth Economy projected to be a $2.6-$3.5 million impact.
Total tax impacts in Danville were projected at $3.2-$9.1 million.
As far as social impacts, the most comprehensive national study found that 8-percent is crime in casino counties was attributed to casinos. Fourth Economy’s further research showed that communities with casinos experience an additional 765 property crimes and 50 violent crimes per 100,000 people.
The company found that problem gambling behavior would effect more than 2,200 people in Danville and Pittsylvania County, equating to $3.2 million in social cost annually.
The national average pay for a casino is $15.75 per hour. However, two-thirds of casino workers earn an average wage of less than $15 per hour.
While casino jobs would greatly increase the wages for workers in jobs that have similar areas of training, the study found that the majority of casino workers would likely learn less than a living wage.
The report can also be found by visiting https://www.drfonline.org/reports/casino-impact-study-2019