Virginia State Senator Dave Marsden has put forth a new bill to potentially bring a resort-style casino to the Tysons area, similar to the MGM National Harbor. This latest attempt comes after an earlier bill faced resistance, prompting Marsden to revise his proposal to address concerns from Reston residents. The new bill specifies that the casino must be within a quarter of a mile of an existing Metro Silver Line station, part of a mixed-use project development, outside the flight path of Dulles airport, within two miles of a major shopping destination, and outside the Interstate 495 Beltway. It also identifies a specific location in Tysons for the potential casino.

The bill’s journey through the legislative process involves several steps. It must pass through both chambers of Virginia’s General Assembly and receive approval from Governor Glenn Youngkin. If approved, it would then proceed to the county level, where a referendum would be requested to allow Fairfax County voters to voice their opinion on the establishment of a casino. If the majority approves, the county would initiate a competitive bidding process for interested developers to seek a casino operator for the project.

Supporters of the casino project envision it as more than just a gambling establishment, hoping to include a convention center, hotels, restaurants, office space, and residences. The goal is to address the decline in commercial real estate tax revenue, particularly exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. State Senator Scott Surovell emphasized the need for additional revenue sources to prevent homeowners from bearing the burden and to diversify the county’s revenue streams.

Despite the potential economic benefits and job creation outlined in a 2019 study, there is opposition from local governments and community associations in the Tysons region. The fate of the proposal ultimately relies on legislative approval and the voice of the county’s voters.

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